Martyrs are needed to create incidents. Incidents are needed to create revolutions. Revolutions are needed to create progress.

— Chester Himes

The most joyful Chester Himes quotes that will transform you to a better person

There is an indomitable quality within the human spirit that cannot be destroyed; a face deep within the human personality that is impregnable to all assaults.


Man cannot live without some knowledge of the purpose of life.

If he can find no purpose in life he creates one in the inevitability of death.


If one lives in a country where racism is held valid and practiced in all ways of life eventually, no matter whether one is a racist or a victim, one comes to feel the absurdity of life....Racism generated from whites is first of all absurd. Racism creates absurdity among blacks as a defense mechanism.


It seemed so illogical to punish some poor criminal for doing something that civilization taught him how to do so he could have something that civilization taught him how to want. It seemed to him as wrong as if they had hung the gun that shot the man.


American violence is public life, it's a public way of life, it became a form, a detective story form. So I should think that any number of black writers should go into the detective story form.


Growth is the surviving influence in all our lives.

The tree will send up its trunk in thick profusion from land burned black by atom bombs. Children will grow from poverty and filth and oppression and develop honor, integrity, contribute to all mankind.


The Harlem of my books was never meant to be real;

I never called it real; I just wanted to take it away from the white man if only in my books.


Our highest ambition is to be included in the stream of American life, to be permitted to "play the game" as any other American; and is opposed to anything that aids in the exclusion; the face may be Africa, but the heart has the beat of Wall Street.


I grew to manhood in the Ohio State Penitentiary.


Democracy is not tolerance. Democracy is a prescribed way of life erected on the premise that all men are created equal.


When you get to mixing sex and religion, it will make anybody crazy.


I would sit in my room and become hysterical about the wild incredible story I was writing. And I thought I was writing realism. It never occurred to me that I was writing absurdity. Realism and absurdity are so similar in the lives of American blacks one cannot tell the difference.


About Chester Himes

Quotes 13 sayings
Profession Writer
Birthday July 29, 1909