"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."
"The empires of the future are the empires of the mind."Anna Deavere Smith on Winston Churchill
"Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future."Anna Deavere Smith on Oscar Wilde
"Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."Anna Deavere Smith on Steve Jobs
"I never think of the future - it comes soon enough."Anna Deavere Smith on Albert Einstein
"It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves."Anna Deavere Smith on William Shakespeare
"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."