Quotes from
With Head and Heart:
The Autobiography of Howard Thurman

The view that the traditional attitude of the religion of black people was, or is, otherworldly is superficial and misguided.  "Take all the world but give me Jesus" is a false and simplistic characterization of our religion.  (18)

To put it plainly, I was a nuisance, though I saw myself at the time only as a conscientious student, eager to learn. (41)

We came from vastly different worlds, but we met above the timber line where the language of the mind and spirit become universal. (42)

I have never since lost sight of the far-flung mystery and redemption of the sacrament of pain.  (70)

At times I would lose my way in the full tide of emotions as a sense of the love of God overwhelmed me.  At such moments we became one in the presence of God.  At the same time, my preaching become less motivated by the desire to "teach"; it became almost entirely devoted to the meaning of the experience of our common quest and journey.  (73)

[We cannot] consider ourselves educated until we [are] able to relate what we had learned to our daily lives. (81)

I was aware that God was not yet done with me, that I need never fear the darkness, nor delude myself that the contradictions of life are final.  (83)

[C]hapel service provided a time and a place where race, sex, culture, material belongings, and earlier religious orientation became undifferentiated in the presence of God.  (90)

I selected four of the universal moods of the human spirit: Praise, Thanksgiving, Contrition, and Faith.  (93)

I discovered, again through worship, that an experience of unity among peoples can be more compelling than all that separates and divides. (95)

I said, "It is against the law for us to use those swings, even though it is a public school.  At present, only white children can play there.  But it takes the state legislature, the courts, the sheriffs and policemen, the white churches, the mayors, the banks and businesses, and the majority of white people in the state of Florida --it takes all these to keep two little black girls from swinging in those swings.  That is how important you are!  Never forget, the estimate of your own importance and self-worth can be judged by how many weapons and how much power people are willing to use to control you and keep you in the place they have assigned to you.  You are two very important little girls.  Your presence can threaten the entire state of Florida."  (97)

If I could not represent American Christianity in foreign countries, how could I continue to be a part of it in my own country?  (104)

A great gift in my life has been the companion who meets me at the gate in any arena where I am called upon to do battle and who with great compassion finds the weak points in my idea or contention without in any way diminishing me. (104)

"He who has more than he needs for efficient work is a thief."  The essential point was quite clear and convincing.  There is no moral justification for having food and a surfeit of creature comforts at one's disposal while numberless people all over the world ion every country are without the necessities to survive.  (107)

There was no time for words--all the words had been said and the heart could only commune with itself, the pure language of silence.  (111)