104 Toni Morrison Quotes | Write the Book You Want to Read - Wishes Disney

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Saturday, May 8, 2021

104 Toni Morrison Quotes | Write the Book You Want to Read

Toni Morrison was a Nobel Prize winning American novelist and poet responsible for novels like Song of Solomon, Beloved, and The Bluest Eye. Throughout her career, Morrison addressed difficult issues like sexual assault, race relations in the United States, and feminism. Writing from the perspective of an African American woman in pretty much all of her works, Morrison successfully communicated the struggles she faced as a woman of color in the United States.

For women of color and literary lovers alike, Toni Morrison’s impact cannot be minimized. Serving as an inspiration for future authors, Morrison’s legacy lives on in this particular quote about writing. Morrison says “If there’s a book you want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” This call to action from Morrison not only captures her desire to see future writers come after her, but emphasizes the importance she placed on storytelling from a variety of voices. The following are her most important quotes.

Best Toni Morrison Quotes

  • Definitions belong to the definers, not the defined. Toni Morrison, Beloved
  • I’m not entangled in shaping my work according to other people’s views of how I should have done it. Toni Morrison
  • What difference do it make if the thing you scared of is real or not? Toni Morrison
  • The function of freedom is to free someone else. Toni Morrison
  • As you enter positions of trust and power, dream a little before you think. Toni Morrison
  • If you can’t imagine it, you can’t have it. Toni Morrison
  • Something that is loved is never lost. Toni Morrison, Beloved
  • Anything dead coming back to life hurts. Toni Morrison
  • I get angry about things, then go on and work. Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison quote to note and share.

Me and you, we got more yesterday than anybody. We need some kind of tomorrow. Toni Morrison, Beloved

 

Toni Morrison quote to note and share.

He can’t value you more than you value yourself. Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

 

Toni Morrison quote to note and share.

Lonely was much better than alone. Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

 

Racism quote by Toni Morrison.

Definitions belong to the definers, not the defined. Toni Morrison

  • What you do to children matters. And they might never forget. Toni Morrison, God Help the Child
  • Love is divine only and difficult always. Toni Morrison, Paradise
  • If happiness is anticipation with certainty, we were happy. Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
  • If you can’t count they can cheat you. If you can’t read they can beat you. Toni Morrison
  • Shallow believers prefer a shallow God. Toni Morrison, A Mercy
  • What’s fair ain’t necessarily right. Toni Morrison, Beloved
  • Everywhere, everywhere, children are the scorned people of the earth. 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
  • When am I happy and when am I sad and what is the difference? What do I need to know to stay alive? What is true in the world? Toni Morrison
  • Don’t let anybody, anybody convince you this is the way the world is and therefore must be. It must be the way it ought to be. Toni Morrison
  • Good for you. More it hurt more better it is. Can’t nothing heal without pain, you know. Toni Morrison, Beloved
  • If you’re going to hold someone down you’re going to have to hold on by the other end of the chain. You are confined by your own repression. Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison quote to note and share.

Anything dead coming back to life hurts. Toni Morrison

 

Toni Morrison quote to note and share.

Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all. Toni Morrison, Beloved

 

Toni Morrison quote to note and share.

Pain was greedy; it demanded all of her attention. Toni Morrison, Sula

 

Moving on quote for inspiration.

You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down. Toni Morrison

 

Toni Morrison quote to note and share.

If you can’t imagine it, you can’t have it. Toni Morrison

  • We mistook violence for passion, indolence for leisure, and thought recklessness was freedom. Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
  • 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. Toni Morrison
  • All paradises, all utopias are designed by who is not there, by the people who are not allowed in. Toni Morrison
  • What’s the world for you if you can’t make it up the way you want it? Toni Morrison, Jazz
  • She learned the intricacy of loneliness: the horror of color, the roar of soundlessness and the menace of familiar objects lying still. Toni Morrison, A Mercy
  • A dream is just a nightmare with lipstick. Toni Morrison
  • A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves and very much not ourselves – a special kind of double. Toni Morrison
  • I don’t think many people appreciate silence or realize that it is as close to music as you can get. Toni Morrison, God Help the Child
  • Nowadays silence is looked on as odd and most of my race has forgotten the beauty of meaning much by saying little. Now tongues work all day by themselves with no help from the mind. Toni Morrison, Love
  • Hate does that. Burns off everything but itself, so whatever your grievance is, your face looks just like your enemy’s. Toni Morrison, Love
  • 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
  • To be given dominion over another is a hard thing; to wrest dominion over another is a wrong thing; to give dominion of yourself to another is a wicked thing. Toni Morrison, A Mercy
  • 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. This is not just a grab-bag candy game. Toni Morrison
  • 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 anger doesn’t provide any of that — I have no use for it whatsoever. Toni Morrison, Interview with CBS radio host Don Swaim
  • 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. Toni Morrison,  2005 Graduation Address at Princeton University

 

Toni Morrison Quotes On Love

  • Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all. Toni Morrison, Beloved
  • Love is never any better than the lover. Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
  • Don’t ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn’t fall in love, I rose in it. Toni Morrison, Jazz
  • Whatever happens, whether you get rich or stay poor, ruin your health or live to old age, you always end up back where you started: hungry for the one thing everybody loses – young loving. Toni Morrison, Jazz
  • She is a friend of my mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. Toni Morrison, Beloved
  • A woman is an important somebody and sometimes you win the triple crown: good food, good sex, and good talk. Most men settle for any one, happy as a clam if they get two. But listen, let me tell you something. A good man is a good thing, but there is nothing in the world better than a good good woman. She can be your mother, your wife, your girlfriend, your sister, or somebody you work next to. Don’t matter. You find one, stay there. You see a scary one, make tracks. Toni Morrison, Love

Toni Morrison “Beloved” Quotes

  • Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another. Toni Morrison, Beloved
  • ‘Today is always here,’ said Sethe. ‘Tomorrow, never.’ Toni Morrison, Beloved
  • You are your best thing. Toni Morrison, Beloved
Toni Morrison quote to note and share.

You are your best thing. Toni Morrison, Beloved

  • Me and you, we got more yesterday than anybody. We need some kind of tomorrow. Toni Morrison, Beloved
  • He wants to put his story next to hers. Toni Morrison, Beloved
  • He licked his lips. ‘Well, if you want my opinion-‘
    ‘I don’t, ‘ She said. ‘I have my own.‘
    Toni Morrison, Beloved
  • If they put an iron circle around your neck I will bite it away. Toni Morrison, Beloved
  • There is no bad luck in the world but whitefolks. Toni Morrison, Beloved
  • The best thing she was, was her children. Toni Morrison, Beloved
  • It’s not about choosing somebody over her. It’s about making space for somebody along with her. Toni Morrison, Beloved

 

Toni Morrison “Song Of Solomon” Quotes

  • You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down. Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
  • If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it. Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
  • He can’t value you more than you value yourself. Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
  • Everything bad that ever happened to him happened because he couldn’t read. Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
  • Perhaps that’s what all human relationships boil down to: Would you save my life? or would you take it? Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
  • Gimme hate, Lord,” he whimpered. “I’ll take hate any day. But don’t give me love. I can’t take no more love, Lord. I can’t carry it…It’s too heavy. Jesus, you know, you know all about it. Ain’t it heavy? Jesus? Ain’t love heavy? Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
  • It’s a bad word, ‘belong.’ Especially when you put it with somebody you love … You can’t own a human being. Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
  • She was the third beer. Not the first one, which the throat receives with almost tearful gratitude; nor the second, that confirms and extends the pleasure of the first. But the third, the one you drink because it’s there, because it can’t hurt, and because what difference does it make? Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

 

Toni Morrison “Sula” Quotes

  • Like any artist without an art form, she became dangerous. Toni Morrison, Sula
  • Pain was greedy; it demanded all of her attention. Toni Morrison, Sula
  • It was a fine cry – loud and long – but it had no bottom and it had no top, just circles and circles of sorrow. Toni Morrison, Sula
  • The presence of evil was something to be first recognized, then dealt with, survived, outwitted, triumphed over. Toni Morrison, Sula
  • There in the center of that silence was not eternity but the death of time and a loneliness so profound the word itself had no meaning. Toni Morrison, Sula
  • The narrower their lives, the wider their hips. Toni Morrison, Sula
  • Every now and then she looked around for tangible evidence of his having ever been there. Where were the butterflies? the blueberries? the whistling reed? She could find nothing, for he had left nothing but his stunning absence. Toni Morrison, Sula

 

Toni Morrison “The Bluest Eye” quotes

  • Lonely was much better than alone. Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
  • Beauty was not simply something to behold; it was something one could do. Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
  • Love is never any better than the lover. Wicked people love wickedly, violent people love violently, weak people love weakly, stupid people love stupidly, but the love of a free man is never safe. Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
  • He read greedily but understood selectively, choosing the bits and pieces of other men’s ideas that supported whatever predilection he had at the moment. Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
Toni Morrison quote to note and share.

Lonely was much better than alone. Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

Toni Morrison “Jazz” Quotes

  • When they fall in love with a city, it is for forever and it is like forever. Toni Morrison, Jazz
  • A son ain’t what a woman say. A son is what a man do. Toni Morrison, Jazz
  • Girls can do that. Steer a man away from death or drive him right to it. Toni Morrison, Jazz
  • Do what you please in the City, it is there to back and frame you no matter what you do. Toni Morrison, Jazz
  • Violet learned then what she had forgotten until this moment: that laughter is serious. More complicated, more serious than tears. Toni Morrison, Jazz
  • I started out believing that life was made just so the world would have some way to think about itself, but that it had gone awry with humans because flesh, pinioned by misery, hangs on to it with pleasure. Toni Morrison, Jazz

 

Toni Morrison Quotes on Womanhood

  • I don’t think a female running a house is a problem, a broken family. It’s perceived as one because of the notion that a head is a man. Toni Morrison
  • There is no protection. To be female in this place is to be an open wound that cannot heal. Even if scars form, the festering is ever below. Toni Morrison, A Mercy
  • True the Black woman did the housework, the drudgery; true, she reared the children, often alone, but she did all of that while occupying a place on the job market, a place her mate could not get or which his pride would not let him accept.And she had nothing to fall back on: not maleness, not whiteness, not ladyhood, not anything. And out of the profound desolation of her reality she may very well have invented herself. Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison quote to note and share.

There is no protection. To be female in this place is to be an open wound that cannot heal. Even if scars form, the festering is ever below. Toni Morrison, A Mercy

 

Toni Morrison Quotes on Racism

  • In this country American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate. Toni Morrison
  • Black literature is taught as sociology, as tolerance, not as a serious, rigorous art form. Toni Morrison
  • If you can only be tall because someone else is on their knees, then you have serious problem. And white people have a very, very serious problem. Toni Morrison
  • Black people are victims of an enormous amount of violence. None of those things can take place without the complicity of the people who run the schools and the city. Toni Morrison
  • Oppressive language does more than represent violence; it is violence; does more than represent the limits of knowledge; it limits knowledge. Toni Morrison
  • Black people have always been used as a buffer in this country between powers to prevent class war. Toni Morrison
  • I always looked upon the acts of racist exclusion, or insult, as pitiable, for the other person. I never absorbed that. I always thought that there was something deficient about such people. Toni Morrison
  • There is no such things as race. Racism is a construct; a social construct. And it has benefits. Money can be made off of it. People who don’t like themselves can feel better because of it. It can describe certain kinds of behavior that are wrong or misleading. So [racism] has a social function. But race can only be defined as a human being. Toni Morrison

 

Toni Morrison Quotes On Writing

  • We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives. Toni Morrison, 1993 Nobel Lecture
  • A writer’s life and work are not a gift to mankind; they are its necessity. Toni Morrison, The Source of Self -Regard
  • If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. Toni Morrison
  • We don’t need any more writers as solitary heroes. We need a heroic writers’ movement: assertive, militant, pugnacious. Toni Morrison
  • Everything I’ve ever done, in the writing world, has been to expand articulation, rather than to close it. Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison quote to note and share.

Black literature is taught as sociology, as tolerance, not as a serious, rigorous art form. Toni Morrison

 

Toni Morrison quote to note and share.

If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. 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
  • The ability of writers to imagine what is not the self, to familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar, is the test of their power. Toni Morrison
  • People say to write about what you know. I’m here to tell you, no one wants to read that, cos you don’t know anything. So write about something you don’t know. And don’t be scared, ever. Toni Morrison
  • Make up a story… For our sake and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. Don’t tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief’s wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear’s caul. Toni Morrison, 1993 Nobel Lecture
  • Writing is really a way of thinking–not just feeling but thinking about things that are disparate, unresolved, mysterious, problematic or just sweet. Toni Morrison

 

Toni Morrison Quotes that Could Not Βe Missing

  • 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
  • Access to knowledge is the superb, the supreme act of truly great civilizations. Of all the institutions that purport to do this, free libraries stand virtually alone in accomplishing this. Toni Morrison
  • The best art is political and you ought to be able to make it unquestionably political and irrevocably beautiful at the same time. Toni Morrison
  • So this is what insanity is. Not goofy behavior, but watching a sudden change in the world you used to know. Toni Morrison, God Help the Child
  • 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, Love
  • When I woke up I reminded myself that freedom is never free. You have to fight for it. Work for it and make sure you are able to handle it. Now. Toni Morrison, God Help the Child

 

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