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Ishmael Reed Quotes

Ishmael Reed Quote: “One of the joys of reading is the ability to plug into the shared wisdom of mankind.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “I think I have a pugnacious style. My style is not pretty. I don’t use words like “amber” or “opaque.””
Ishmael Reed Quote: “Tea Party members go to meetings on Medicare scooters.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “Multicultural is not a description of a category of American writing-it is a definition of all American writing.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “As a writer, you explore all kinds of different emotions.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “Richard Price, who has made a fortune writing fake ghetto books, says he takes a cab into the ghetto, transcribes Black speech for a brief time and returns home. His fake ghetto books have bought him a townhouse in Gramercy Park and home on Staten Island.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “When I say Afro-American aesthetic, I’m not just talking about the United States, I’m talking about the Americas. People in the Latin countries read my books because they share the same international aesthetic that I’m into and have been into for a long time. And it’s multicultural.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “I was challenged to a fistfight by Margo Jefferson, the Pulitzer Prize winner, New York Times writer, who is part of a feminist clique at the Times, which believes that Black men are the principal threat to the women of the world.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “David Simon goes to the Jewish Weekly and said he’s made all this money, but he can’t enjoy it because of criticism by people like Ishmael Reed.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “What was once dormant is now a Creeping Thing.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “Richard Price got a million dollar advance on one fake film book based on a paragraph outline and is able to seduce gullible White reviewers who know less about ghetto life than he. The New York Times has devoted more space to Price’s tourist, ghetto writing than to any Black writer in history.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “I walked out on American Gangster: this evil piece of dreck. Defenders of this junk say that these movies give Black actors jobs. So did “Birth of a Nation.””
Ishmael Reed Quote: “Joel Chandler Harris, who created a multi billion dollar industry, everything from his books, to Disney’s “Song of the South” based upon the Uncle Remus stories. He got his start by transcribing the stories of slave Informants. I’m sure that none them got a dime.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “Ethnic life in the United States has become a sort of contest like baseball in which the blacks are always the Chicago Cubs.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “The descendants of Holy Roman Empire monarchies became feeble-minded in the twentieth century, and after World War I had been done in by the democracies; some were kept on to entertain the tourists, like the one they have in England.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “In Haitian mythology there is the figure Ghede, who in West Africa, is Iku, whose role is to show “each man his devil.” He’s represented by a figure wearing a top hat and smoking a cigar. That’s my gig.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “For generations comedians have made jokes about Scots-Irish in the South inter-breeding. “I am my own grandpa” and all that stuff; you know, because they all were marrying their first cousins.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “I used to be a discipline problem, which caused me embarrassment until I realized that being a discipline problem in a racist society is sometimes an honor.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “The treatment of African and African American culture in our education was no different from their treatment in Tarzan movies.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “A black boxer’s career is the perfect metaphor for the career of a black male. Every day is like being in the gym, sparring with impersonal opponents as one faces the rudeness and hostility that a black male must confront in the United States, where he is the object of both fear and fascination.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “My work holds up the mirror to hypocrisy, which puts me in a tradition of American writing that reaches back to Nathaniel Hawthorne.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “Do you think that Gwendolyn Brooks would give an award to someone who hated Black women, the lie that was circulated throughout New York and reached all the way down to Martinique where I was a guest Professor? The lie was circulated by people who don’t read my books.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “Native Americans were driven off their land. Lincoln even took part in the Black Hawk campaign against the Native Americans in Illinois. While they were being exterminated and driven off their land, Whites were collecting assets.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “My generation of writers has been prone to premature illness and death, especially the women. When Black male writers meet it’s like a session of the American Diabetic Association.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “No one says a novel has to be one thing. It can be anything it wants to be, a vaudeville show, the six o’clock news, the mumblings of wild men saddled by demons.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “I have Black guys who tell me they put my books on their bed stands to read at night like something for guidance or information. That really pleases me a lot. I think my work has changed some things. It’s changed me.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “My stuff is direct. Critics have compared my writing style with boxing all the way back to 1978 when my first book of essays appeared: it was compared to Muhammad Ali’s style.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “Given all of the anti-Muslim propaganda that’s being disseminated by The American Nazi media, you have to be careful. It can stress you out.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “I consider racism to be a medical problem. Racists need serious medical and psychiatric help, because they are killing themselves and making others suffer along with them.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “I think Black intellectuals see too deeply. That’s the problem. It’s a cause of anxiety, because we see things differently.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “A lot of great art comes from the Afro-American male experience. Black men are geniuses, and many times their desperation, their position as being pariahs, leads them to great originality.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “Writing poetry is the hard manual labor of the imagination.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “I’ve always wondered why European politicians as a group seemed brighter than American politicians as a group. Maybe it’s becausemany American politicians have the race issue to fall back on. They become lazy, suspicious of innovative ideas, and as a result American institutions atrophy.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “The Afrocentric exploration of the black past only scratches the surface. A full examination of the ancestry of those who are referred to in the newspapers as blacks and African Americans must include Europe and Native America.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “Another California study counted 30,000 substance abusers who are pregnant are White woman. So, The Wire paints the picture of drug addiction, drug dealing, and drug abuse as being a specifically a Black issue.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “There would be no Rock and Roll without Ike Turner, James Brown, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Allen Toussaint, etc. Fake ghetto books and fake ghetto music. Elvis Presley, whom they idol, is merely a karaoke makeover of James Brown and Chuck Berry.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “I guess when it comes to this privileged White racist feminist movement they respect someone who treats them rough: John Wayne. Frank Sinatra. Phillip Roth.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “That kind of thing happens to black people every day in this country, and they don’t receive that kind of sentence he did, which was to go to prison on the weekends; I think he lectured there-an outside lecturer.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “I’m not against White writers writing about Blacks as long as they are as objective as say James McPherson writing about an Irish American janitor in his brilliant short story “Gold Coast.””
Ishmael Reed Quote: “I asked Joe Weixlmann why he would print a death threat like that in light of the fact that there are all of these armed ideological nuts wandering around loose. He said that for him, to “ice” someone means to reprimand them.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “Unfortunately, in the world today, we have dogmatic people entering into politics. I don’t think the two mix.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “Whites have been the most subsidized group in the history of the United States and maybe the history of the world, while Blacks were enslaved and were the assets of Whites.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “All art must be for the end of liberating the masses. A landscape is only good when it shows the oppressor hanging from a tree.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “I wasn’t part of any sixties movement. I’m skeptical of movements. I’m part of the times that I’m in.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “The plays raise issues that are ignored in other forums.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “Yes. You see, it’s not 1 of those germs that break bleed suck gnaw or devour. It’s nothing we can bring into focus or categorize; once we call it 1 thing it forms into something else.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “I’m sure that you could go back and make a graph showing that all the killings of black males increased in times of economic difficulty. As a matter of fact, a black man was lynched last year.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “I think there are fundamentalists all over the world. I think all religions have fundamentalists who have different interpretations of scriptures that are very vague.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “He said he felt like the gut heart and lungs of Africa’s interior. He said he felt like the Kongo: “Land of the Panther.” He said he felt like “deserting his master,” as the Kongo is “prone to do.” He said he felt he could dance on a dime.”
Ishmael Reed Quote: “Have you ever seen people line up outside a Van Gogh exhibit? When they get inside there are so many they can’t even see the paintings, they just pass by like sheep or like mourners passing the tomb of a fallen hero, a bier, with the same solemnity. And the extent of their knowledge concerning Van Gogh is that he “cut off his ear.” Man, it’s religion they make it into.”
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