“Black culture doesn’t lack for modernist and postmodernist artists, just their critical equivalents. And now that, like Spielberg’s Poltergeist, they’re here, might as well face up to the fact that there’s no avoiding the recondite little suckers”
“The situationists were bent on discovering the absolute ability to criticize anyone, anywhere — without restraint, without the pull of alliances, and without self-satisfaction. And they were bent on turning that criticism into event.”
“Our failure to devise an effective response to AIDS is partly a product of the silence of our culture. We are raised to regard epidemics as relics of distant lands and ancient eras; when an outbreak does occur, it seems unprecedented, unnatural.”
"Nothing quite like the beat demimonde exists anymore, not with the same literary élan, the same desperate vitality. Being a poor New York writer or painter has become too expensive — or too crushing — to permit such animated congregation"
"Like a number of other black women writers, I have made it a point to speak of our 'tradition,' yet I know that no such tradition is assumed by the rest of the world, primarily because our books have not been read or taught"