Depression isn't the almighty ruler of your destiny. Even its familiar traits - grief, anger, despair - you find that you can use in other ways. I can create with them in my writing and my life, mix them up with excitement and pleasure. I can name that terrible, numbing paralysis and know it will pass.
We talk about how we think, believe, suspect Michael Jackson treats children. We don't talk about how WE treat child stars. Child stars are abused by the culture. And what's more treacherous than when the rewards of child stardom issue from the abuse? Child stars are performers above all else. Whenever their triumps, they are going to make sure we see everyone of their scars. That's the final price of admission.
No one expects a Broadway musical comedy to be in the vanguard of what is bohemian, raunchy, folkloric, academic or aggressively experimental. That is not its job. Its job is to synthesize musical and social traditions with high-styled vivacity, especially those that dwell on different sides of the tracks in real life. The highbrow meets the lowbrow; sweet meets hot; uptown, downtown, all around the town.
I think the most harmful belief passed on to me - not always directly - was the belief that whatever I did as a Negro, however much we Negroes achieved, despite the presence of some enlightened whites, white society as a whole enjoyed being racists in the secret core of their being and would never, ever give that up.