You know the AME Church has a history of empowering black people and having an international outlook. So it was the women of the church who began to give Sarah Breedlove an image of herself as something other than an illiterate washerwoman, and she wanted to make her life better, and her daughter's life better.
I began to discover that, in addition to her stunning achievements, there were flaws as there would be in any person's life. I wanted to tell Madam's story in an honest, frank way.
To her credit, Madam Walker discerned that black women wanted to conform to white Victorian models of beauty. She was aware of the double- sidedness of her products - helping black women appear more European in look, with straight hair - but she always maintained that she was simply selling products that promoted hair growth.
Have you ever wondered why the rich and privileged care about, or even bother with, the gift bag? Because they don't need this stuff. If they wanted it, they could afford to buy it, without blinking. But they love the gift bag, beyond reason.
I gave up writing children's books. I wanted to escape from them as I had once wanted to escape from 'Punch': as I have always wanted to escape. In vain.
All I ever wanted to be was president of the American League.
When I first wrote 'Papa Hemingway,' there were too many people still alive, and the lawyers for Random House didn't want to OK it. But now all that's been filtered away by the passage of all these people. And having the fortune of surviving, I now feel that I am the custodian of what Ernest wanted the world to know about him and these women.
But, somewhere in there, I did have the thought that this really fits in with my thinking about what I wanted to do; with what has to be done by a writer in order to stay alive as a writer.
My dad was very successful running midgets in Texas. Then, his two drivers ran into some bad luck. People started saying that Daddy had lost his touch. That it was the cars and not the drivers. I wanted to race just to prove all those people wrong.
I wanted passionately to be a priest.