- She stood at the gate, waiting; behind her the swamp, in front of her Colored Town, beyond it, all Maxwell. Tall and slim and white in the dusk, the girl stood there, hands on the picket gate.
- Strange Fruit (1944) First lines
- Segregation is evil; there is no pattern of life which can dehumanize men as can the way of segregation.
- Acceptance speech for the Charles S. Johnson Award at Fisk University in 1966
- We in America – and men across the earth – have trapped ourselves with that word equality, which is inapplicable to the genus man. I wish we would forget it. Stop its use in our country: Let the communists have it. It isn’t fit for men who fling thei...r dreams across the skies. It is fit only for a leveling down of mankind.
- "Killers of the Dream" Lillian Smith