Toni Morrison

«I think women dwell quite a bit on the duress under which they work, on how hard it is just to do it at all. We are traditionally rather proud of ourselves for having slipped creative work in there between the domestic chores and obligations. I'm not sure we deserve such big A-pluses for all that.»

Toni Morrison


«As you enter positions of trust and power, dream a little before you think.»

Toni Morrison


«She knew Paul D was adding something to her life—something she wanted to count on but was scared to... His waiting eyes and awful human power. The mind of him that knew her own. Her story was bearable because it was his as well—to tell, to refine and tell again. The things neither knew about the other—the things neither had word-shapes for—well, it would come in time.»

Toni Morrison


«Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.»

Toni Morrison


«Grownups don't pay it much attention because they can't imagine anything more majestic to a child than their own selves and so confused dependance for reverence.»

Toni Morrison


«What I think the political correctness debate is really about is the power to be able to define. The definers want the power to name. And the defined are now taking that power away from them.»

Toni Morrison


«I really think the range of emotions and perceptions I have had access to as a black person and as a female person are greater than those of people who are neither.... So it seems to me that my world did not shrink because I was a black female writer. It just got bigger.»

Toni Morrison


«Like any artist without an art form, she became dangerous.»

Toni Morrison


«Algún día irás andando por el camino y oirás o verás algo. Con toda claridad. Y pensarás que eres tú la que está pensando. Una imagen pensada. Pero no. Es cuando tropiezas con un recuerdo que le pertenece a otro.»

Toni Morrison


«I don't believe any real artists have ever been non-political. They may have been insensitive to this particular plight or insensitive to that, but they were political, because that's what an artist is―a politician.»

Toni Morrison


«Art invites us to know beauty and to solicit it, summon it, from even the most tragic of circumstances.»

Toni Morrison


«All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was.»

Toni Morrison


«Everywhere, everywhere, children are the scorned people of the earth.»

Toni Morrison


«She was never able, after her education in the movies, to look at a face and not assign it some category in the scale of absolute beauty, and the scale was one she absorbed in full from the silver screen.»

Toni Morrison


«God take what He would," she said. And He did, and He did, and He did and then gave her Halle who gave her freedom when it didn't mean a thing.»

Toni Morrison


«Everybody gets everything handed to them. The rich inherit it. I don't mean just inheritance of money. I mean what people take for granted among the middle and upper classes, which is nepotism, the old-boy network.»

Toni Morrison


«Don't ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn't fall in love, I rose in it.»

Toni Morrison


«I merged those two words, black and feminist, because I was surrounded by black women who were very tough and and who always assumed they had to work and rear children and manage homes.»

Toni Morrison


«if they put an iron circle around your neck I will bite it away»

Toni Morrison


«Birth, life, and death― each took place on the hidden side of a leaf.»

Toni Morrison


«This is the time for every artist in every genre to do what he or she does loudly and consistently. It doesn't matter to me what your position is. You've got to keep asserting the complexity and the originality of life, and the multiplicity of it, and the facets of it. This is about being a complex human being in the world, not about finding a villain. This is no time for anything else than the best that you've got.»

Toni Morrison


«I want to feel what I feel. What's mine. Even if it's not happiness, whatever that means. Because you're all you've got.»

Toni Morrison


«I don't think anybody cares about unwed mothers unless they're black or poor. The question is not morality, the question is money. That's what we're upset about.»

Toni Morrison


«Here was an ugly little girl asking for beauty....A little black girl who wanted to rise up out of the pit of her blackness and see the world with blue eyes. His outrage grew and felt like power. For the first time he honestly wished he could work miracles.»

Toni Morrison


«When I write, I don't translate for white readers.... Dostoevski wrote for a Russian audience, but we're able to read him. If I'm specific, and I don't overexplain, then anyone can overhear me.»

Toni Morrison


«We were two throats and one eye and we had no price.»

Toni Morrison


«I'm interested in the way in which the past affects the present and I think that if we understand a good deal more about history, we automatically understand a great more about contemporary life.»

Toni Morrison


«Let me tell you something. A man ain’t a goddamn ax. Chopping, hacking, busting every goddamn minute of the day. Things get to him. Things he can’t chop down because they’re inside.»

Toni Morrison


«Lonely was much better than alone.»

Toni Morrison


«Sethe, he says, "me and you, we got more yesterday than anybody. We need some kind of tomorrow."»

Toni Morrison