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Patricia J. Williams

  • ... to speak as black, female, and commercial lawyer has rendered me simultaneously universal, trendy, and marginal.

  • The polemics of right-wing radio are putting nothing less than hate onto the airwaves, into the marketplace, electing it to office, teaching it in schools, and exalting it as freedom.

    • Patricia J. Williams,
    • "Hate Radio," in Ms. ()
  • ... witch-hunting misogyny is fiercely recurrent in this nation, even if its forms vary with the ages.

  • Within the world of TV land, into which American life has been reduced as well as reproduced, the phenomenon of the talk show has emerged as a genre located somewhere on the spectrum between coffee klatch and town meeting, or perhaps between the psychiatrist's couch and the crowd scene at a bad accident.

  • ... the solution to racism lies in our ability to see its ubiquity but not to concede its inevitability. It lies in the collective and institutional power to make change, at least as much as with the individual will to change. It also lies in the absolute moral imperative to break the childish, deadly circularity of centuries of blindness to the shimmering brilliance of our common, ordinary humanity.

  • ... the very notion of blindness about color constitutes an ideological confusion at best, and denial at its very worst.

  • We humans have always needed rituals to draw like curtains over the chasms of the unknown. Without them we go mad, I think.

  • I have no fresh-from-the-oven mother-daughter recollections — only the daily creaking of cans being opened and the sucking sound of gelatinous vegetables splurting from their tin-encased vacuums. Her kitchen was filled with smoke and impatience. ... And so I grew up finding my own path, frying what could not be boiled, winging my way through life without recipes.

Patricia J. Williams, U.S. lawyer, educator, writer


Full name: Patricia Joyce Williams.