“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”
“Ever morning, until you dead in the ground, you gone have to make this decision. You gone have to ask yourself, "Am I gone believe what them fools say about me today?”
“I always thought insanity would be a dark, bitter feeling, but it is drenching and delicious if you really roll around in it.”
“All I'm saying is, kindness don't have no boundaries.”
“Wasn't that the point of the book? For women to realize, We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I'd thought.”
“Write about what disturbs you, particularly if it bothers no one else.”
“Once upon a time they was two girls," I say. "one girl had black skin, one girl had white."
Mae Mobley look up at me. She listening.
"Little colored girl say to little white girl, 'How come your skin be so pale?' White girl say, 'I don't know. How come your skin be so black? What you think that mean?'
"But neither one a them little girls knew. So little white girl say, 'Well, let's see. You got hair, I got hair.'"I gives Mae Mobley a little tousle on her head.
"Little colored girl say 'I got a nose, you got a nose.'"I gives her little snout a tweak. She got to reach up and do the same to me.
"Little white girl say, 'I got toes, you got toes.' And I do the little thing with her toes, but she can't get to mine cause I got my white work shoes on.
"'So we's the same. Just a different color', say that little colored girl. The little white girl she agreed and they was friends. The End."
Baby Girl just look at me. Law, that was a sorry story if I ever heard one. Wasn't even no plot to it. But Mae Mobley, she smile and say, "Tell it again.”
“Stuart needs "space" and "time," as if this were physics and not a human relationship.”
“Ugly live up on the inside. Ugly be a hurtful, mean person.”
“I always order the banned books from a black market dealer in California, figuring if the State of Mississippi banned them, they must be good.”
“That's what I love about Aibileen, she can take the most complicated things in life and wrap them up so small and simple, they'll fit right in your pocket.”
“I'm sorry, but were you dropped on your head as an infant?”
“All my life I'd been told what to believe about politics, coloreds, being a girl. But with Constantine's thumb pressed in my hand, I realized I actually had a choice in what I could believe.”
“That's the way prayer do. It's like electricity, it keeps things going.”
“Sorry is the fool who ever underestimates my mother.”
“I'd cry, if only I had the time to do it.”
“The first time I was ever called ugly, I was thirteen. It was a rich friend of my brother Carlton's over to shoot guns in the field.
'Why you crying, girl?' Constantine asked me in the kitchen.
I told her what the boy had called me, tears streaming down my face.
'Well? Is you?'
I blinked, paused my crying. 'Is I what?'
'Now you look a here, Egenia'-because constantien was the only one who'd occasionally follow Mama's rule. 'Ugly live up on the inside. Ugly be a hurtful, mean person. Is you one a them peoples?'
'I don't know. I don't think so,' I sobbed.
Constantine sat down next to me, at the kitchen table. I heard the cracking of her swollen joints. She pressed her thumb hard in the palm of my hand, somthing we both knew meant Listen. Listen to me.
'Ever morning, until you dead in the ground, you gone have to make this decision.' Constantine was so close, I could see the blackness of her gums. 'You gone have to ask yourself, Am I gone believe what them fools say about me today?'
She kept her thumb pressed hard in my hand. I nodded that I understood. I was just smart enough to realize she meant white people. And even though I still felt miserable, and knew that I was, most likely, ugly, it was the first time she ever talked to me like I was something besides my mother's white child. All my life I'd been told what to believe about politics, coloreds, being a girl. But with Constantine's thumb pressed in my hand, I realized I actually had a choice in what I could believe.”
“It weren’t too loo long before I seen something in me, had changed. A bitter seed was planted inside of me. And I just didn’t feel so, accepting, anymore.”
“...and that's when I get to wondering, what would happen if I told her she something good, ever day?”
It feels cool, like water washing over my sticky-hot body. Cooling a heat that's been burning me up all my life.
Truth, I say inside my head again, just for that feeling.”
“That was the day my whole world went black. Air looked black. Sun looked black. I laid up in bed and stared at the black walls of my house….Took three months before I even looked out the window, see the world still there. I was surprised to see the world didn’t stop.”
“it always sound scarier when a hollerer talk soft.”
“Frying chicken always makes me feel a little better about life.”
“No one tells us, girls who don't go on dates, that remembering can be almost as good as what actually happens.”
“It seems like at some point you'd run out of awful.”
“She's wearing a tight red sweater and a red skirt and enough makeup to scare a hooker.”
“We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I'd thought.”
“I listened wide-eyed, stupid. Glowing by her voice in the dim light. If chocolate was a sound, it would've been Constantine's voice singing. If singing was a color, it would've been the color of that chocolate.”
“Mississippi is like my mother. I am allowed to complain about her all I want, but God help the person who raises an ill word about her around me, unless she is their mother too.”
“...out of the blue, he kissed me. Right in the middle of the Robert E. Lee Hotel Restaurant, he kissed me so slowly with an open mouth and every single thing in my body-my skin, my collarbone, the hollow backs of my knees, everything inside of me filled up with light.”
“It is strange how we hold on to the pieces of the past while we wait for our futures.”
“Sometimes the prize is not worth the costs. The means by which we achieve victory are as important as the victory itself.”
“It was more dangerous not to go; I was running the risk of becoming trapped in my own fantasies. So I was doing the right thing by going. She would behave normally, I would behave normally, and everything would be normal again.”
“A simple and heart-warming fable, one might think - in which case, one would reveal oneself to be an innocent nincompoop.”
“Patience. I colored patience gray, hung over with black clouds. I colored hope yellow, just like the sun we could see for a few short morning hours. Too soon the sun rose high in the sky & disappeared from view, leaving us bereft and staring at blue.”
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