Gary Edward “Garrison” Keillor (born August 7, 1942) is an American author, storyteller, humorist, voice actor, and radio personality. He is best known as the creator of the Minnesota Public Radio show A Prairie Home Companion (called Garrison Keillor’s Radio Show in some international syndication), which he hosted from 1974 to 2016. Keillor created the fictional Minnesota town Lake Wobegon, the setting of many of his books, including Lake Wobegon Days and Leaving Home: A Collection of Lake Wobegon Stories. Other creations include Guy Noir, a detective voiced by Keillor who appeared in A Prairie Home Companion comic skits.
“Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a purpose.”
“A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.”
“God writes a lot of comedy… the trouble is, he’s stuck with so many bad actors who don’t know how to play funny.”
James Arthur “Jimmy” Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987) was an American writer and social critic. His essays, as collected in Notes of a Native Son (1955), explore palpable yet unspoken intricacies of racial, sexual, and class distinctions in Western societies, most notably in mid-20th-century America. Some of Baldwin’s essays are book-length, for instance, The Fire Next Time (1963), No Name in the Street (1972), and The Devil Finds Work (1976). An unfinished manuscript, Remember This House, was expanded upon and adapted for cinema as the Academy Award-nominated documentary film I Am Not Your Negro.
“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
“The paradox of education is precisely this – that as one begins to become conscious one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated.”
“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”
From Wikipedia and pbs.org
Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 – September 28, 1891) was an American novelist, short story writer, and poet of the American Renaissance period. His best-known works include Typee (1846), a romantic account of his experiences in Polynesian life, and his whaling novel Moby-Dick (1851).
“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.
“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.”
“To the last, I grapple with thee; From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee; For hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee.”
“What isn’t said is as important as what is said.”
“Write what you know.”
“I’m just trying to keep things rich for me creatively and for the readers who follow me.”
“Early in my career, I figured out that I just have to write the book I have to write at that moment. Whatever else is going on in the culture is just not that important. If you could get the culture to write your book, that would be great. But the culture can’t write your book.”
James Mercer Langston Hughes – an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist from Joplin, Missouri. He was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form called jazz poetry. Image from NYDailynews.
“I swear to the Lord I still can’t see why Democracy means Everybody but me.”
“An artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose.”
“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.”
“What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?… Or does it explode?”
“I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go.”
Yolande Cornelia “Nikki” Giovanni, Jr. – poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator. Image from Feminine Fusion.
“Nothing is easy to the unwilling.”
“Everything will change. The only question is growing up or decaying.”
“We love because it’s the only true adventure.”
“Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to the error that counts.”
“If you don’t understand yourself you don’t understand anybody else.”
“show me someone not full of herself and I’ll show you a hungry person.”
William Edward Burghardt (W.E.B.) Du Bois (1868-1963) sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, editor, and author. Image from AAIHS.
“A little less complaint and whining, and a little more dogged work and manly striving, would do us more credit than a thousand civil rights bills.”
“The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.”
“To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships.”
Octavia E. Butler, (1947-2006) award-winning science fiction author of Kindred, Dawn, Patternmaster and the Parable Series. Image from Stagen Studios.
“Writing is one of the few professions in which you can psychoanalyze yourself, get rid of hostilities and frustrations in public, and get paid for it.”
“I just knew there were stories I wanted to tell.”
“People have the right to call themselves whatever they like. That doesn’t bother me. It’s other people doing the calling that bothers me.”