Racism is a construct
Racism is a construct; a social construct. And it has benefits. Money can be made off of it. People who don’t like themselves can feel better because of it. It can describe certain kinds of behavior that are wrong or misleading. So racism has a social function. But race can only be defined as a human being. -- Toni Morrison
Freedom is only sweet when it is won.
When it is forced, it is called responsibility. -- Toni Morrison, 1971 ... #veryfinequote
You wanna fly,
You wanna fly, === you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” ― Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon ... #veryfinequote
Today would have been Toni Morrison’s 89th birthday, and if you can’t make it to one of the many celebrations going on in her honor around the country, you should at least indulge in reading her words—and also, perhaps, in listening to some of her wisdom. Luckily for those wishing for more of the latter, screenwriter Maya Cade has recently found a “largely unseen” interview with Morrison, converted it from VHS and uploaded it to YouTube, to mark the occasion of Morrison’s birthday and Black History Month, and to bring us all some much-needed joy.
The stirring 1987 feature, a lengthy interview about Beloved, writing, the legacy of slavery, and creating characters who are “large as life,” among other things, which also features dramatic readings of Morrison’s work and historical context, is part of Home Vision’s “Profile of a Writer” series, and was directed by Alan Benson. Enjoy it in full here:
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wikidata.org diff afro-american writer
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TONI MORRISON: THE PIECES I AM, USA 2019
Regie: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders – Originalfassung: Englisch – Untertitel: Ohne. „Beloved” ist nicht nur der Titel einer ihrer bekanntesten Romane. Innig geliebt wurde und wird die im August 2019 verstorbene Autorin, Pulitzer- und Nobelpreisträgerin auch von ihrer Leserschaft. Dazu zählen unter anderen Oprah Winfrey, Fran Lebowitz und Angela Davis, die neben der Schriftstellerin zu Wort kommen. THE PIECES I AM bietet ein Kaleidoskop an Perspektiven: neben Biografie und Werk der Literatin steht ihre wegweisende Arbeit als Lektorin für den Verlag Random House und das Ringen der alleinerziehenden Mutter um gleiche Bezahlung, aber auch die Geschichte der schwarzen Befreiungsbewegungen in den USA im Fokus. Sorgfältig ausgewähltes Archivmaterial wird durch die visuellen Welten zeitgenössischer schwarzer Künstler.innen – von Faith Ringgold über Lorna Simpson bis Kara Walker – ergänzt.
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PLAYING THE DARK: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination by Toni Morrison
"[...] in a wholly racialized society, there is no escape from racially inflected language, and the work writers do to unhobble the imagination from the demands of that language is complicated, interesting, and definitive."
--from PLAYING THE DARK: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination by Toni Morrison
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Beloved and Jazz now gives us a learned, stylish, and immensely persuasive work of literary criticism that promises to change the way we read American literature even as it opens a new chapter in the American dialogue on race. Toni Morrison's brilliant discussions of the "Africanist" presence in the fiction of Poe, Melville, Cather, and Hemingway leads to a dramatic reappraisal of the essential characteristics of our literary tradition. She shows how much the themes of freedom and individualism, manhood and innocence, depended on the existence of a black population that was manifestly unfree--and that came to serve white authors as embodiments of their own fears and desires. Written with the artistic vision that has earned Toni Morrison a pre-eminent place in modern letters, Playing in the Dark will be avidly read by Morrison admirers as well as by students, critics, and scholars of American literature.
"You knew, didn't you, how I needed your language and the mind that formed it? How I relied on your fierce courage to tame wildernesses for me? How strengthened I was by the certainty that came from knowing you would never hurt me? You knew, didn't you, how I loved your love? You knew. This then is no calamity. No. This is jubilee. 'Our crown,' you said, 'has already been bought and paid for. All we have to do,' you said, 'is wear it. "And we do, Jimmy. You crowned us."
--Toni Morrison in her eulogy for James Baldwin/Photo of Morrison and Baldwin.
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