family now has accepted my being a writer; it did not at
first. They seemed to feel that writing was like a bad cold and
soon would pass. In a family where everyone for generations had
earned their bread with muscle and sweat, as I once earned mine,
I felt I had become a freak....
Young black writers will go through the same thing until we have established
as a race, here in America, a tradition of books, literature, and
writing. Once in this nation, it meant death for a black man to
even learn to read; but we are freeing ourselves of this fear."
Quote from "Time and Tide: The Roots of Black Awareness," in
A Twenty-Year Diary of Article Writing. (Garden City, NY: Anchor
Press/Doubleday, 1973, p. 422)