"My process is designed to give us 'colored folk' and women a taste of the American dream straight up. Since the facts don't do that too often, I decided to make it up."
"If One Can Anyone Can All You Gotta Do Is Try"
"My women are actually flying; they are just free, totally. They take their liberation by confronting this huge masculine icon - the bridge."
"Like all artists and writers, I am both enriched and limited by what I know and have experienced. In other words my books and my art are based on my life's experience. I am, as you know, a black woman in America."
"My ideas come from reflecting on my life and the lives of people I have known and have been in some way inspired by."
"I had something I was trying to say and sometimes the message is an easy transmission and sometimes it's a difficult one but I love the power of saying it so I'm gonna do it whether it's hard or easy. Because I just love the idea that I can, I can say it!"
"Being an artist is a way of life"
"You can't sit around waiting for somebody else to say who you are. You need to write it and paint it and do it. That's the power of being an artist."
"Freedom of speech is absolutely imperative. You can't have art of any kind without freedom of speech."
"I wanted to tell my story. Who am I and why? - why, who, what, where, when."
"When I was in elementary school I used to see reproductions of Horace Pippin's 1942 painting called John Brown Going to His Hanging in my textbooks. I didn't know Pippin was a black person. No one ever told me that. I was much, much older before I found out that there was at least one black artist in my history books. Only one. Now that didn't help me. That wasn't good enough for me. How come I didn't have that source of power? It is important. That's why I am a black artist. It is exactly why I say who I am."
"I had been to the African source of my own "classical" art forms and now I was set free."
"I am inspired by people who rise above adversity. Like most people, I am also inspired by people who are the best they can be. Although I love a beautiful vase of flowers, a sumptuous landscape or a sunset, I will not be moved to paint one of these without a meaningful personal reference that is also political."
"I have a responsibility to myself and to coming generations of artists. I would like to be the one that helps them do what they want to do. That's the point of being an artist. You can communicate things that you feel and see. You are a voice. You have a power to do that. You don't have to ask anyone's permission. You don't need anyone's help. Once art is made, it an be seen. That is a very powerful thing."
"Your job is to tell your story. Your story has to come out of your life, your environment, who you are, where you come from."
"All over this country and the world people were listening to these black men. I felt called upon to create my own vision of the black experience we were witnessing. I read feverishly, especially everything that James Baldwin had written on relationships between blacks and whites in America. Baldwin understood, I felt, the disparity between black and white people as well as anyone; but I had something to add - the visual depiction of the way we are and look. I wanted my paintings to express this moment I knew was history. I wanted to give my woman's point of view to this period."