How does Ruby Dee want to be remembered?
"I believe that human beings are like the members of a cosmic orchestra. Each of us has a vibration and a sound. Each of us is a different instrument. As an actor, I'm supposed to hear the sounds and the silences. Find the rhythms of the people. This is what I do now with the books.
This is how, when we talk about "peace on Earth", we talk about everybody ultimately deciding, "Oh, I'm this particular instrument with this particular vibration--and I belong in this part of the cosmic orchestra. And then we will have peace on Earth. We will understand love and acceptance. We will be done with all of our teeny toys and get on to the large assignment. We will come to fulfill the large assignment, the divine mandate. And if something like that could be encapsulated and put on my tombstone--that's how I would like to be remembered. As knowing, "Oh, that's what I'm put on Earth for...she had an idea of what I was put on Earth for."
On her Oscar nomination
"Tavis, I have to tell you. When I was young, in first hearing about the Oscars, it was like I had my nose against the bakery shop window looking in at all the goodies--knowing that I was going to go in there to buy it and then circumstances pounded it into me that I didn't have the right to go in there and buy something from that bakery.
So, I could read the magazines and I finally realized I wasn't going to be a starlet in Hollywood--in the staple of young newcomers that came along--in the big producing companies. So, I let it go.
Sometimes the ministers and the intellectuals and people like you who look into the human condition a lot understand this, but a gate closes in yourself so that you won't bang your head against anymore store windows or bleed anymore fences. It doesn't exist for you anymore. So, that's what happened to me..."
(More in her interview with Tavis Smiley)
Her first impression of Ossie Davis
"God, make me so uncomfortable that I will do everything that I fear."
|Onstage with Lou Gossett, Jr. and Sidney Poitier for A Raisin in the Sun (from Wikimedia)|
"The kind of beauty that I want most is the hard-to-get kind that comes from within - strength, courage, dignity."
|Photographed by Carl Van Vechten in 1961 (from Wikimedia)|
"Tupac" - Poem on Def Jam Poetry
(Language warning: use of just two curse words)
"Revolutionaries don't get job security. They compete with rats for cheese and with strays for shelter--after the big bullets make feet out of their knees."
(From "Tupac" - a personal favorite)