Penn Book has collected the best Toni Morrison Quotes from the record below. The first Lorain Ohio female writer was winning the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993 – Toni Morrison – inspiration to compose because nobody can take that “little black woman” seriously. The world-renowned novel “Beloved” Pulitzer Prize in 1988 and the American Book Award made her broadly well-known all across the World. She has left behind a vast body of purposeful works in inspiring individuals and taking up their power. Continue reading if you want to find out more.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Toni Morrison Quotes
- 1.1 On life and death
- 1.2 On success
- 1.3 On affection
- 1.4 On writing
- 1.5 On writing Beloved
- 1.6 On imagination
- 1.7 On the beauty of life
- 1.8 On independence
- 1.9 On labels
- 1.10 On education
- 1.11 On the meaning of love
- 1.12 On her writing career
- 1.13 On belief
- 1.14 On beauty
- 1.15 On oppression
- 1.16 On the importance of language
- 1.17 On the concept of falling in love
- 1.18 On love
- 1.19 On freedom
- 1.20 On perspective
Best Toni Morrison Quotes
On life and death
“We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives,” she said during her 1993 Nobel Lecture.
“If you wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down,” she wrote in her novel Song of Solomon.
“When a kid walks in a room, your child or anybody else’s child, does your face light up? That’s what they’re looking for,” she said in a 2000 interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Oprah has called these words one of her biggest “aha!” moments.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reported in 1981 that, in her speech to the Ohio Arts Council, Morrison uttered what is now one of her most famous quotes: “If you find a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
On writing Beloved
For a 1987 New York Times article, she told the paper, “I don’t know if that story came because I was considering certain aspects of self-sabotage, the ways in which the best things we do so often carry seeds of one’s own destruction.”
“If you can’t imagine it, you can’t have it,” she said during a 1992 lecture in Portland, Oregon.
On the beauty of life
“I’m a believer in the power of knowledge and the ferocity of beauty, so from my point of view, your life is already artful—waiting, just waiting, for you to make it art,” she said in a 2005 graduation address at Princeton University.
“Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another,” she wrote in her 1987 novel Beloved.
Read more: Best Inspiration Audre Lorde Quotes
In Beloved, Morrison also wrote: “Definitions belong to the definers, not the defined.”
“I tell my students, ‘When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else,'” she said in a November 2003 O, The Oprah Magazine interview.
On the meaning of love
She also told O in 2003: “It is easily the most empty cliché, the most useless word, and at the same time the most powerful human emotion—because hatred is involved in it, too.”
On her writing career
“My world did not shrink because I was a Black female writer. It just got bigger,” she told The New York Times in 1987.
“You can do some rather extraordinary things if that’s what you really believe,” she told the NYT in 1987.
“At some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint or even remember it. It is enough,” from her 1981 novel Tar Baby.
“Oppressive language does more than represent violence; it is violence; does more than represent the limits of knowledge; it limits knowledge,” she said during her Nobel Lecture.
On the importance of language
She said during her Nobel Lecture: “Language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. Language alone is meditation.”
On the concept of falling in love
In her 1992 novel Jazz, she wrote: “Don’t ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn’t fall in love, I rose in it.”
“Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all,” she wrote in Beloved.
“I don’t want to make somebody else. I want to make myself,” she wrote in her 1973 novel Sula.
“We mistook violence for passion, indolence for leisure, and thought recklessness was freedom,” she wrote in her first novel, The Bluest Eye.
Other consideration: “If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it.” (“Song of Solomon,” 1977)