Why is she Mrs. C.J. Walker? It really was a matter of her trying to insist that people respect her, because during that time, white people would call any black woman 'Sally.' 'Aunt Sally.' So this was like... you can't call me that.
We all draw inspiration from women whose names make the headlines and whose stories are in the history books, but often our greatest inspiration comes from our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, teachers, and friends.
You always take a little bit back with you at the end of the day. I always put a little bit of myself into the characters, too. You find parallels, points of connection, things like that. But I'm not an actor who gets so incredibly haunted by my characters that I can't come back.
You always have to remember that if you say something negative, it's going to come back to haunt you.
You know how there's all these rappers like Mike D and King T and Ice T and Cool C or something like that? Well, on Mayberry, on 'Andy Griffith,' they had Aunt B.
During past years, like frightened children, we were afraid to eat the strong meat of human rights and instead sucked the milk of civil rights from the breasts of white liberals, black Uncle Toms, and Aunt Jemimas.
As well as our relationship with Afghanistan, I am researching the legacy of other European empires - in Africa. We think of those empires as history, but actually, they still haunt our everyday lives in the strangest of ways.
I would spend about eight months on a song, leaving it alone and going back to it later on. I just kept layering things on, building them up in to epic songs. I let the songs evolve - it's really daunting.
You know, sometimes I get moments of inspiration when I'm writing something and then the task seems so daunting that it just kind of scares me away.
Mostly I make lists for projects. This can be daunting. Breaking something big into its constituent parts will help you organize your thoughts, but it can also force you to confront the depth of your ignorance and the hugeness of the task. That's OK. The project may be the lion, but the list is your whip.