Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am

Goddamn, where was this film a couple months ago while I was on my Civil Rights kick?

This woman was amazing! While an incredibly strong activist for Afro-American rights, she also laughed. She laughed at just how astoundingly ridiculous racism was. She laughed at there being 2 separate water fountains. She stole “colored” signs and sent them home to her mom. She became so incredibly vocal about Afro-American history and awareness, and yet never seemed touched by any of the racial trauma that most activists had felt or experienced at one point in their lives. She grew up in an incredibly diverse neighborhood, and became whole heartedly proud of who she was. Every aspect of who she was. And so unafraid of who she was. An interviewer asked her if she was tired of being labeled a “black woman writer,” and she said no. She was tired of being asked that question. And laughed. Despite scathing and insulting reviews stating that while her talent was abundantly clear, she was limiting herself by only writing about the black experience, she never stopped writing about the black experience. She recieved a letter from a prison stating that they had banned one of her books for fear that it might start a riot. She framed it and hung it on her wall, impressed with herself for having that much power. From the age of 3 she understood the power of words. And maybe that stoked her determination and strength to write what she wrote. She wrote about what she cared the most about. Unapologetically. In the hope that maybe she could help people find a little more humanity within themselves.

While I admit that I have never read any of her books, I am deeply impelled to amend that.

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