Everybody's scared for their ass. There aren't too many people ready to die for racism. They'll kill for racism but they won't die for racism.
(Florynce R. Kennedy (b. 1916), African American lawyer, civil rights activist, and feminist. As quoted in This Little Light of Mine, ch. 10, by Hay Mills (1993).
In a February 22, 1990 interview, recalling her civil rights work in Ruleville, Mississippi, in 1964.)
... excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism.
(Oprah Winfrey (b. 1954), African American television personality and actress. As quoted in I Dream a World, by Brian Lanker (1989).
Born in Mississippi, she became the first African American woman to host a nationally syndicated weekday television talk show and the first to found her own television and film production company. She was also among the few to be nominated for an Academy Award (for Best Supporting Actress in The Color Purple ).)
Racism is when you have laws set up, systematically put in a way to keep people from advancing, to stop the advancement of a people. Black people have never had the power to enforce racism, and so this is something that white America is going to have to work out themselves. If they decide they want to stop it, curtail it, or to do the right thing ... then it will be done, but not until then.
(Spike Lee (b. 1956), U.S. filmmaker. Interview in Roger Ebert's Home Movie Companion (1990).)