"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."
"A man who won't die for something is not fit to live."Anna Deavere Smith on Martin Luther King, Jr.
"To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent."Anna Deavere Smith on Buddha
"The fear of death is the most unjustified of all fears, for there's no risk of accident for someone who's dead."Anna Deavere Smith on Albert Einstein
"The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time."Anna Deavere Smith on Mark Twain
"Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there's a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see."Anna Deavere Smith on Helen Keller
"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?"
"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."
"I feel like my work has been my path to freedom from having grown up in a segregated environment."
"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."