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Margaret Walker

  • My grandmothers are full of memories / Smelling of soap and onions and wet clay / With veins rolling roughly over quick hands / They have many clean words to say. / My grandmothers were strong. / Why am I not as they?

    • Margaret Walker,
    • "Lineage," For My People ()
  • Love stretches your heart and makes you big inside.

  • Only ways you can keep folks hating is to keep them apart and separated from each other.

  • White folks needs what black folks got just as much as black folks needs what white folks is got, and we's all got to stay here mongst each other and git along, that's what.

  • Friends and good manners will carry you where money won't go.

  • You is born lucky, and it's better to be born lucky than born rich, cause if you is lucky you can git rich, but if you is born rich and you ain't lucky you is liables to lose all you got.

  • Now when you hates you shrinks up inside and gets littler and you squeezes your heart tight and you stays so mad with peoples you feels sick all the time like you needs the doctor.

  • I believe deeply in a common humanity. The black man belongs to the family of man. One part of that family is out of control — like a virus or cancer — and that is the white man. He and his technological society are bent on destroying the world. Everywhere the white man has gone with his empire, he has destroyed people, races, societies, cultures, and in the course of it, has sterilized himself. He is completely the mechanical man: without heart, without soul. He is the Tin Man of The Wizard of Oz. But I don't believe that all the white people in the world are no good.

    • Margaret Walker,
    • in Nikki Giovanni and Margaret Walker, A Poetic Equation ()
  • ... I see the country going fascist. We have been going that route a long, long time. A lot of things the country has done from its inception were fascist. But now, now I think we are in the face of a terrible fascist dictatorship.

    • Margaret Walker,
    • in Nikki Giovanni and Margaret Walker, A Poetic Equation ()
  • I have always secretly felt that what mankind should be in an ideal sense is that mixture of people and races. I really believe in it. I don't think there is anything sacred in the integrity of race, white or black.

    • Margaret Walker,
    • in Nikki Giovanni and Margaret Walker, A Poetic Equation ()
  • Racism is so extreme and so pervasive in our American society that no black individual lives in an atmosphere of freedom.

    • Margaret Walker,
    • in Janet Sternburg, ed., The Writer on Her Work, vol. 1 ()
  • A writer needs certain conditions in which to work and create art. She needs a piece of time; a peace of mind; a quiet place; and a private life.

    • Margaret Walker,
    • in Janet Sternburg, ed., The Writer on Her Work, vol. 1 ()
  • What I have here is a complete indictment of our present-day society, our whole world. What's wrong it is money, honey, money.

    • Margaret Walker,
    • in Claudia Tate, ed., Black Women Writers at Work ()
  • When I was about eight, I decided that the most wonderful thing, next to a human being, was a book.

    • Margaret Walker,
    • in Brian Lanker, I Dream a World ()
  • I do not believe that hating any man solves the problem of race or any other problem. ... I firmly believe that hatred, like anger, works on the physical glandular system as well as on the moral fiber of our nation, and in doing so, can bring no positive good.

    • Margaret Walker,
    • "Willing to Pay the Price" (1969), How I Wrote Jubilee ()

Margaret Walker, U.S. poet, writer, educator

(1915 - 1998)

Full name: Margaret Abigail Walker Alexander.