I think a lot of times, the historical piece is often a way to comment on the present.
DuBois - my intellectual hero - had written an obit of Madam, praising her... I began to see Madam Walker beyond the definitions others had given her.
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.
For more than three years, I'd been part of a complex and frustrating dance as my nonfiction, fact-based material was translated from book to movie by scriptwriters whose visions, goals and sensibilities often were quite different from mine.
Trying to learn to be a good man is like learning to play tennis against a wall. You are only a good man - a competent, capable, interesting and lovable man - when you're doing it for, or with, other people.
Only people who live outside cities realize the size of them. London turns out to be huge; there are great swaths, vast panoramas, a whole diaspora I'd never imagined. The place I live in tends to be manageably small, a few familiar journeys and destinations.
Frightened is the natural state for all men.
I've often been accused of dressing too well. I've always been fascinated by fashion, though I don't think I'm particularly fashionable.
I'm frightened of my innate vanity. I mean: the suits lined with scarves? Even I know the warning signs. I could quite easily end up in a tiny Playboy mansion, all on my own.
The pleasure in lovers' gifts is that they are often covert and secretive, worn next to the skin, hidden under pillows.