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 buy too much stuff we just don't need. We're trying to look cute for next weekend when we ought to be thinking about the next decade.
Madame Walker was one of the four iconic women who really created what's now the modern hair-care and cosmetics industry, and we know about her in the black community because everybody gets their hair done.
One of the key things for me about Madame Walker's life is that she really does represent this first generation out of slavery when black people were reinventing themselves, and as a woman who was the first child in her family born free, she was trying to figure out a way, and she moved from Delta, Louisiana.
For all my life, I've been trying to tell Madam's story and really it's a labor of love just to make sure people know about her and the empowerment she gave to other women.
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.
Songs are all poetry, and they don't make any sense.
The part that makes you unique is the bit people will like or fear, fall in love with, or try to avoid.
I was proud my father spoke Arabic fluently - his father sent him to learn Arabic from a sheikh - and we had Arab friends. His task of understanding the Arabs - not only politics but poetry - was very important; he took it as a vocation.
I am sure it is one's duty as a teacher to try to show boys that no opinions, no tastes, no emotions are worth much unless they are one's own. I suffered acutely as a boy from the lack of being shown this.