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  • Brown people and black people and red people swarmed through our great halls, until those who were white looked simply faded-out human beings beside them. Indeed, I came to see that white is not a color in skin any more than in textiles, and if it had not quality, it had no value even for humanity. I saw that color in skin had a certain advantage in strength and warmth as a means of beauty.

  • ... the certain truth, that as warm a heart, as noble a nature, and as bright an intellect may be found under a yellow, a brown, or a black skin as under a white one.

  • Our skin is what stands between us and the world.

  • I look at my four boys, who are the colors of silt, loam, dust, and clay, an infinite palette for children of their own, and I understand that time erases whiteness altogether.

  • People who want to be tattooed don't always have good taste.

  • With time and exposure to light, the skin loses its tensile strength — like an old worn girdle. No amount of massage has ever been shown to restore an old, old girdle.

  • No one color can describe the various and varied complexions in our group. They range from the deep black to the fairest white with all the colors of the rainbow thrown in for good measure. When twenty or thirty of us meet, it is as hard to find three or four with the same complexion as it would be catch greased lightning in a bottle.

  • ... he was as evenly tanned as if someone had taken great care to turn him over regularly with a fork.

  • With her skin deeply tanned by constant exposure to the sun, she had the shriveled appearance of a wind-dried shrimp.

  • I may be brown as a berry, but that's only secondary, / You can't tell the difference after dark.

    • Alberta Hunter,
    • "You Can't Tell the Difference After Dark," Downhearted Blues ()
  • Our skin mediates the most important transactions of our lives. Skin is key to our biology, our sensory experiences, our information gathering, and our relationships with others. Although the many roles it plays are rarely appreciated, it is one of the most remarkable and highly versatile parts of the human body.

  • In a world of increasingly globalized fashion, adornment of the skin is one of the last frontiers of individuality and personal adventure.

  • Our skin talks even when we don't; it is not a neutral canvas.