Lillian Smith


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Lillian Eugenia Smith (December 12, 1897 – September 28, 1966) was a writer and social critic of the Southern United States, known best for her best-selling novel Strange Fruit (1944). A white woman who openly embraced controversial positions on matters of race and gender equality, she was a southern liberal unafraid to criticize segregation and work toward the dismantling of Jim Crow laws, at a ... more »

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  • The warped, distorted frame we have put around every Negro child from birth is around every white child also. Each is on a different side of the frame but each is pinioned there. And ... what cruelly ...
    Lillian Smith (1897-1966), U.S. author. Killers of the Dream, pt. 1, ch. 1 (1949, rev. 1961).
  • ''Man, born of woman, has found it a hard thing to forgive her for giving him birth. The patriarchal protest against the ancient matriarch has borne strange fruit through the years.''
    Lillian Smith (1897-1966), U.S. author. Killers of the Dream, pt. 2, ch. 4 (1949, rev. 1961).
  • ''The human heart dares not stay away too long from that which hurt it most. There is a return journey to anguish that few of us are released from making.''
    Lillian Smith (1897-1966), U.S. author. Killers of the Dream, pt. 1, ch. 1 (1949, rev. 1961).
  • For men tied fast to the absolute, bled of their differences, drained of their dreams by authoritarian leeches until nothing but pulp is left, become a massive, sick Thing whose sheer weight is used r...
    Lillian Smith (1897-1966), U.S. author. Prologue, The Journey (1954).
  • To believe in something not yet proved and to underwrite it with our lives: it is the only way we can leave the future open. Man, surrounded by facts, permitting himself no surmise, no intuitive flash...
    Lillian Smith (1897-1966), U.S. author. The Journey, ch. 15 (1954).
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