Toni Morrison


Toni Morrison’s grasp on the complexities of social life in the United States can help lead us to clarity and justice. She wrote incredibly sophisticated and emotional stories showing the failure of our founding national ideals. Her books act as a heartbreaking historical record as well as an indictment of modern times. That despite our denunciation of discrimination, we unknowingly cling to psychologies of difference and superiority, of worth and control. The “menace is so mundane”, so commonplace.

The beauty of her novels is the journey toward the universal desires for freedom and belonging, and of our capacity to love. She shows our true powers come not from aggression, silencing or marginalizing but though our natural inclination toward compassion. Where you can imagine how another could also be you, where there is no Other.

Beauty was not simply

something to behold;

it was something

one could do.

-The Bluest Eye

The function of freedom

is to free someone else.

-Beloved

Love is or it ain’t.

Thin love ain’t love at all.

-Beloved

I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge—even wisdom.  

-No Place for Self Pity, No Room for Fear