I came to Hollywood and I loved it. It was a great time, but in my head I was still elsewhere, in Europe. I believed in a certain cinema, which I still do believe in - a certain European cinema - and as a young woman being in America, I thought I was being taken away from that.
Everyone finds their own version of Charles Dickens. The child-victim, the irrepressibly ambitious young man, the reporter, the demonic worker, the tireless walker. The radical, the protector of orphans, helper of the needy, man of good works, the republican. The hater and the lover of America. The giver of parties, the magician, the traveler.
Bonnaroo has kind of become the granddaddy of all American festivals. The thing I love about it most is that it wasn't born out of picking the top ten bands off the Billboard chart and creating a festival around it.
With reality TV, sometimes it's amazing chemistry and you get these gems that turn out to be everything you hoped, and the camera loves them and they just blossom on the show. And then sometimes it's not all you envision.
Actually, I would love to make a music video. Maybe it would finally put to rest those persistent rumours that have followed me throughout my career - particularly when I was on camera performing - that I had died.
I loved 'Ghana Must Go' by Taiye Selasi. It's about a first-generation African family living in America that has to return home to Nigeria when their estranged father passes away.
I was given the opportunity to write the kind of book that I wanted to write, rather than one that catalogues where I sang and what I sang and what I wore. I wanted to write a book about an American family, the family that has produced me. The longer I live, the more I realise the incredible support and love we were given as children.
You are Americans. You love this country. Together we are entrusted with the principles that represent mankind's greatest political and social achievement.
I think I've found a purpose in acting; it's something I truly love and truly enjoy. It makes me happy. It makes me understand more about life, in front of the camera, than what I'm living beyond the camera.
As individuals and as a nation, we now suffer from social narcissism. The beloved Echo of our ancestors, the virgin America, has been abandoned. We have fallen in love with our own image, with images of our making, which turn out to be images of ourselves.
Daniel J Boorstin
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