1979 - August 16: "JET" Magazine Interview PDF Print E-mail


On placing God and religion into the process of a natural high:

"I believe in the Bible and I try to follow the Bible. I know I’m an imperfect person… I’m not making myself an angel because I’m not an angel and I’m not a devil either. I try to be the best I can and I try to do what I think is right. It’s that simple…I don’t just pray at night. I pray at different times during the day. Whenever I see something beautiful, I say, "Oh, God, that’s beautiful." I say little prayers like that all through the day."

On related natural highs:

"As corny as it sounds, natural highs are the greatest highs in the world. The stars, the mountains, children, babies smiling are just magic."

On racism and prejudice:

"The people told us 'Just deal with it' (racism), because that’s how the South is. That’s ignorance and it’s taught, because it’s not genetic at all. The little children in those (countries) aren’t prejudiced. I would like for you to put this in quotes, too. I’m really not a prejudiced person at all. I believe that people should think about God more and creation. Look at the many wonders inside the human bodies — the different colors of organs, colors of blood — and all these colors do different things in the human body. It’s the most incredible system in the world; it makes an incredible building, the human being. And if this can happen with the human body, why can’t we do it as people? And that’s how I feel. And that’s why I wish the world could do more. That (racism) is the only thing I hate. I really do. And that’s why I try to write, put it in songs, put it in dance, put it in my art – to teach the world. If politicians can’t do it, poets should put it in poetry and writers should put it in novels. That’s what we have to do and I think it’s so important to save the world."

On book reading:

"I love to read. I wish I could advise more people to read. There’s a whole new world in books. If you can’t afford to travel, you travel mentally through reading. You can see anything and go anyplace you want to in reading."

On his travels:

"Wherever you go, man-made things are man-made, but you’ve got to get out and see God’s beauty of the world."

On America’s racial problems at the time:

"The main thing that I hate most is ignorance, like the prejudice problems of America. I know it is worse in some other countries. I wish I could borrow from other countries, say, like Venezuela or Trinidad, the real love and color-blind people and bring it to America. When you travel, you realize how different America is. […] I’m prejudiced against ignorance. That’s what I’m mainly prejudiced against."