"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."
"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart."Anna Deavere Smith on Helen Keller
"It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light."Anna Deavere Smith on Aristotle Onassis
"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant."Anna Deavere Smith on Robert Louis Stevenson
"Try to be like the turtle - at ease in your own shell."Anna Deavere Smith on Bill Copeland
"Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain."Anna Deavere Smith on Joseph Campbell
"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."
"I feel like my work has been my path to freedom from having grown up in a segregated environment."