Quotes by Anna Deavere Smith
- Friendship is a wildly underrated medication.
- I feel like my work has been my path to freedom from having grown up in a segregated environment.
- I made a real specific decision when I came out of school and most artists were writing about home - if you were a woman, you were writing about being a woman - and I decided not to do that, write about what you know. That's not what I do. I went as far away from home as possible in terms of the development of my imagination.
- I think it's really important to give yourself a very big question that you're working on that you can come home to, even if you, you know, are going to have to go without a cup of coffee or even a meal, that that should nourish you.
- I think we need leadership that helps us remember that part of what we are about is caring about more than the person right next to us, but the folks across the way.
- I was a mimic when I was a child. I mimicked the teacher and made friends that way, actually. That was a very subversive activity, because I was a goody-goody who never got in trouble. But if I went off in the corner and mimicked the teacher, people loved it.
- Learning is a tunnel experience that makes us think more broadly.
- Movies, as evidenced by a chorus of protesting and celebrating Americans, influence broader trends.
- My main concern is theater, and theater does not reflect or mirror society. It has been stingy and selfish, and it has to do better.
- People who are sick, or who have been sick, or have come close to death have a lot to say - and they want you to hear it.
- President Obama called for a 'we' nation in his Inauguration Address. Art convenes. It is not just inspirational. It is aspirational. It pricks the walls of our compartmentalized minds, opens our hearts and makes us brave. And that's what we need most in our country today.
- Racism has been for everyone like a horrible, tragic car crash, and we've all been heavily sedated from it. If we don't come into consciousness of this tragedy, there's going to be a violent awakening we don't want. The question is, can we wake up?
- Somehow we can't live outside the politics of race. There's something very deep in all of us, that is taught to us when we are very, very little. Which is the disrespect and fear of the other.
- The American idea is as promising, imaginative, and full of the unexpected as the land itself. The land represents freedom - the frontier, the ability to make a new future with your own bare hands.
- To live your life well, and have respect for what came before or after - there's a strong respect for that in African culture.
- When I got out of acting school, I was lucky to have gotten any job at all. A lot of people hiring African American actresses - it was right after 'Roots,' and for society, not me, it was great. Nice richly dark-skinned people was the fashion, and I was not.