Slavery has never been abolished from America's way of thinking.
You get racism crossing the street; it's in the very fabric of American society.
This may be a dream, but I'll say it anyway: I was supposed to be married last year, and I bought a gown. When I meet Nelson Mandela, I shall put on this gown and have the train of it removed and put aside, and kiss the ground that he walks on and then kiss his feet.
I wasn't a jazz player, but a classical musician, and I improvised arrangements of popular songs using classical motifs.
I think that the artists who don't get involved in preaching messages probably are happier - but you see, I have to live with Nina, and that is very difficult.
When I'm on that stage, I assume honor. I assume compensation, and I should.
Once I understood Bach's music, I wanted to be a concert pianist. Bach made me dedicate my life to music, and it was that teacher who introduced me to his world.
What I was interested in was conveying an emotional message, which means using everything you've got inside you sometimes to barely make a note, or if you have to strain to sing, you sing.
My daughter is in more competition with me. I never wanted to be bigger than my mother or to challenge her.
Did you know that the human voice is the only pure instrument? That it has notes no other instrument has? It's like being between the keys of a piano. The notes are there, you can sing them, but they can't be found on any instrument. That's like me. I live in between this. I live in both worlds, the black and white world.
As a political weapon, it has helped me for 30 years defend the rights of American blacks and third-world people all over the world, to defend them with protest songs. To move the audience to make them conscious of what has been done to my people around the world.
I'm not a blues singer, I'm a diva.
I would like a man now who is rich, and who can give me a boat - a sailboat. I want to own it and let him pay for it. My first love is the sea and water, not music. Music is second.
I think the rich will eventually have to cave in too, because the economic situation around the world is not gonna tolerate the United States being on top forever.
When I was studying... there weren't any black concert pianists. My choices were intuitive, and I had the technique to do it. People have heard my music and heard the classic in it, so I have become known as a black classical pianist.
Jazz is a white term to define black people. My music is black classical music.
To most white people, jazz means black and jazz means dirt, and that's not what I play. I play black classical music.
I had spent many years pursuing excellence, because that is what classical music is all about... Now it was dedicated to freedom, and that was far more important.
Sometimes I sound like gravel, and sometimes I sound like coffee and cream.
I have to be composed; I have to be poised. I have to remember what my first piano teacher told me: 'You do not touch that piano until you are ready and until they are ready to listen to you.