"The sad truth is that without complex business partnerships between African elites and European traders and commercial agents, the slave trade to the New World would have been impossible, at least on the scale it occurred."
"When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight."Henry Louis Gates on Khalil Gibran
"Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad."Henry Louis Gates on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"I seldom think about my limitations, and they never make me sad. Perhaps there is just a touch of yearning at times but it is vague, like a breeze among flowers."Henry Louis Gates on Helen Keller
"If my world were to cave in tomorrow, I would look back on all the pleasures, excitements and worthwhilenesses I have been lucky enough to have had. Not the sadness, not my miscarriages or my father leaving home, but the joy of everything else. It will have been enough."Henry Louis Gates on Audrey Hepburn
"Sadness is but a wall between two gardens."Henry Louis Gates on Khalil Gibran
"I first learned that there were black people living in some place called other than the United States in the western hemisphere when I was a very little boy, and my father told me that when he was a boy about my age, he wanted to be an Episcopal priest, because he so admired his priest, a black man from someplace called Haiti."
"Censorship is to art as lynching is to justice."
"It's important to debunk the myths of Africa being this benighted continent civilized only when white people arrived. In fact, Africans had been creators of culture for thousands of years before. These were very intelligent, subtle and sophisticated people, with organized societies and great art."
"We can revolutionize the attitude of inner city brown and black kids to learning. We need a civil rights movement within the African-American community."
"Patriotism is best exemplified through auto-critique. When you're willing to stand up within the group and say, 'It is wrong for Black people to be anti-Semitic,' or 'It is wrong for America to discriminate against persons of African descent and made them slaves and based its wealth upon free labor,' it's crucial to say that."