"I feel like my work has been my path to freedom from having grown up in a segregated environment."
"Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged."Anna Deavere Smith on Ronald Reagan
"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."Anna Deavere Smith on Nelson Mandela
"If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking... is freedom."Anna Deavere Smith on Dwight D. Eisenhower
"I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do."Anna Deavere Smith on Robert A. Heinlein
"Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err."Anna Deavere Smith on Mahatma Gandhi
"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?"
"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."
"Learning is a tunnel experience that makes us think more broadly."
"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."