The white audiences thought I was white, my features being what they are, and at every performance I'd have to take off my gloves to prove I was a spade.
The big compliment came from the beer drinkers who didn't know me. They wouldn't drink or move when I sang. If they had their glasses in mid-air, the glasses wouldn't come down.
Mom never quit on me. My only regret is that she didn't live long enough to share some of the money and comforts my work in show business has brought me.
I had always loved John Ford's pictures. And I came to love him, too, but I was frightened to death working for him. He used the shock treatment while directing me.
I wanted to be with the kind of people I'd grown up with, but you can't go back to them and be one of them again, no matter how hard you try.
After years in white theaters I dreaded working in colored houses. The noise, the stomping, whistling, and cheering that hadn't annoyed me when I was young was now something I dreaded.
In her whole life Mom never earned more than five or six dollars a week. Being without a husband, it was hard for her to find any place at all for us to live.
Though I was excited about the Sojourner Truth play, it was not reassuring to think that my entire future might depend on the success of that one show.