“I always felt, in any town, if I can get to a library, I’ll be OK.”—Legendary poet Maya Angelou, whose birthday is today and whose collection she donated to our Schomburg Center For Research In Black Culture last year. We did an interview with her at the time for Huffington Post - check it out. And happy birthday, Maya! (via nypl)
“This is the true joy of life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown out on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”—George Bernard Shaw,1903 (via talkativolive)
“I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. I do not mind at all. I do not belong to the sobbing school of Negrohood who hold that nature somehow has given them a lowdown dirty deal and whose feelings are all hurt about it. Even in the helter-skelter skirmish that is my life, I have seen that the world is to the strong regardless of a little pigmentation more or less. No, I do not weep at the world—I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.”—Zora Neale Hurston (via kindredsmile)
No matter how negative the media might portray Africa, we will never be ashamed of where we came from. Africa is not just a place---it's who we are. Africa has shaped many of us to be the people we are today, both inside and out.
“After sleeping through a hundred million centuries we have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet, sparkling with color, bountiful with life. Within decades we must close our eyes again. Isn’t it a noble, an enlightened way of spending our brief time in the sun, to work at understanding the universe and how we have come to wake up in it? This is how I answer when I am asked — as I am surprisingly often — why I bother to get up in the morning.”—
Maybe the most annoying and condescending part of religion is assuming that without it, you would simply have no reason to live (or get up in the morning). Its like a heroin addict asking “without Heroin, how do you go on living?” and my answer to both is a resounding *facepalm*.
I got a full tuition scholarship to college. Not my first choice college. Honestly, I refused to even apply to my dream school (Columbia) because I knew I couldn’t afford it and it would break my heart to turn down an offer. Just like it did when I had to turn down U. Chicago, and U. Penn, and…
“The Japanese government is by all accounts remarkably well organized and prepared to respond to this kind of disaster. All of the failures in New Orleans, by comparison, have their origins in the crooked, incompetent crony politics of the local government and the non-existent Federal response. Japan is among the many non-American nations that recognize that government is not inherently useless and evil. If government takes its responsibilities seriously (which requires the preliminary step of recognizing that responding to an unthinkably large natural disaster is a government responsibility) it is possible to see that the animal-level needs of its people are met. Japan does have the advantage of being a small, dense country, but nonetheless its public sector has managed to shelter, feed, and rescue itself admirably. Why? Because its government is not devoted to the idea that government should be abolished.
Beyond that, Japan hasn’t build its entire society on the principle of every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost. Their idea of disaster preparedness is not hoarding enough bullets to shoot their neighbors who run out of food. When America has a natural disaster, the private sector immediately focuses on profiteering and jacking up prices. In Japan the prices are lowered and in some cases basic necessities are even given away gratis. Japanese are more willing to look out for and help one another because unlike the U.S., their social dynamics focus on group harmony (critics say “conformity”) rather than constant reminders that You are responsible for yourself and no one else. If your neighbor needs help, the American response is to lecture him about failing to better prepare himself for the crisis.
That, and Japan hasn’t created a massive, impoverished underclass that interacts with government primarily at the end of a police baton.”—
“I always look at the 8 planets and see every movement of it. I realize all of them are moving. But one thing really amazes me. The earth never changes it’s course -not even a bit. Even 1 degree. You know why? If the earth gets 1 degree closer to the sun it will burn. And 1 degree apart it will freeze. So I realize there’s someone holding it. Someone called GOD”
Umm, I highly doubt an astronomer said this. For one, earth’s orbit is elliptical and varies by about 3 million miles between its closest and farthest point from the sun. It’s not being “held” by God, but by the laws of physics. It’s velocity carries it forward while the Sun’s gravity pulls it in, resulting in an orbit. Angular momentum, people.