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    18 Times Toni Morrison Spoke To Our Souls

    “We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.”

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    1.

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    —in a speech to the Ohio Arts Council, 1981

    2. “There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.” —the Nation, 2015

    3.

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    4. “It was a fine cry — loud and long — but it had no bottom and it had no top, just circles and circles of sorrow.” —Sula

    5.

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    Song of Solomon

    6. “I’m writing to, about, and for other black people. And if it’s good enough, it will be read by and appreciated by people who are not African-Americans. That’s the simple way to put it. But the point is, I just thought we were interesting.” —Granta, 2017

    7. “If you can only be tall because someone else is on their knees, then you have a serious problem. And white people have a very, very serious problem.” —Charlie Rose, 1998

    8. “The title of Ralph Ellison’s book was Invisible Man. And the question for me was ‘Invisible to whom?’ Not to me.” —the New Yorker, 2003

    9. “Whatever the work is, do it well—not for the boss but for yourself.” —the New Yorker, 2017

    10.

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    11. “What I'm interested in is writing without the gaze, without the white gaze.” —the New York Times Magazine, 2017

    12. “Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all.” —Beloved

    13. “I was loose!” –The Pieces I Am documentary, 2019

    14.

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    Jazz

    15. “Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another.” —Beloved

    16. “It is sheer good fortune to miss somebody long before they leave you.” —Sula

    17.

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    18. “And she was loved!” —Song of Solomon

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