On Being Unapologetically Black…

The price we pay for being ourselves is worth it. –Eartha Kitt As kids we were regularly admonished to “use your inside voice” (or some variant of that phrase) by some older matriarchal figure, usually a grey-haired teacher–a librarian in my case–whenever you got just a little bit too wound up in your conversations with…

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Book 12: The Bluest Eye-Toni Morrison

I’ve been hearing people talk about the importance of this work for years, and yet it was one of the few texts by Toni Morrison I wasn’t particularly interested in reading. I added it to my list because it seemed like it was time that I learned for myself what all the discussion was about.…

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Toni Morrison on Writers

You know, they straightened out the Mississippi River in places, to make room for houses and livable acreage. Occasionally the river floods these places. ‘Floods’ is the word they use, but in fact it is not flooding, it is remembering. Remembering where it used to be. All water has perfect memory and is forever trying to get back where it was. Writers are like that: remembering where we were, what valley we ran through, what the banks were like, the light that was there and the route back to our original place. It is emotional memory–where the nerves and the skin remember how it appeared. And a rush of imagination is our ‘flooding’…

Toni Morrison, The Site of Memory , p. 99