Toni Morrison - People Quotes
23 Sourced Quotes
Alice thought, No. It wasn't the War and the disgruntled veterans; it wasn't the droves and droves of colored people flocking to paychecks and streets full of themselves. It was the music. The dirty, get-on-down music the women sang and the men played and both danced to, close and shamelesss or apart and wild...It made you do unwise disorderly things. Just hearing it was like violating the law.
Two parents can't raise a child any more than one. You need a whole community - everybody - to raise a child. And the little nuclear family is a paradigm that just doesn't work. It doesn't work for white people or for black people. Why are we hanging onto it, I don't know. It isolates people into little units - people need a larger unit.
It's always seemed to me that black people's grace has been with what they do with language. In Lorrain, Ohio, when I was a child, I went to school with and heard the stories of Mexicans, Italians, and Greeks, and I listened. I remember their language, and a lot of it is marvelous. But when I think of things my mother or father or aunts used to say, it seems the most absolutely striking thing in the world.
Only her tight, tight eyes were left. They were always left...They were everything. Everything was there, in them...Thrown, in this way, into the binding conviction that only a miracle could relieve her, she would never know her beauty. She would see only what there was to see: the eyes of other people.
Anger... it's a paralyzing emotion... you can't get anything done. People sort of think it's an interesting, passionate, and igniting feeling — I don't think it's any of that — it's helpless... it's absence of control — and I need all of my skills, all of the control, all of my powers — and I need clarity, in order to write — and anger doesn't provide any of that — I have no use for it whatsoever. I can feel melancholy, and I can feel full of regret, but anger is something that is useful to the people who watch it... it's not useful to me.