Ms. Morrison has passed away. Though I was never a fan of her books, I have always been a fan of her as an unapologetically Black woman. As an intellectual.
I cannot possibly write words eloquent enough that would be fitting enough to honor her. So instead I share some of the wisdom she left behind.
I’m not entangled in shaping my work according to other people’s views of how I should have done it.
I’m always annoyed about why black people have to bear the brunt of everybody else’s contempt. If we are not totally understanding and smiling, suddenly we’re demons.
We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.
I always looked upon the acts of racist exclusion, or insult, as pitiable, from the other person. I never absorbed that. I always thought that there was something deficient about such people.
Black boys became criminalized. I was in constant dread for their lives, because they were targets everywhere. They still are.
Rest well, Mother Morrison. Job well done.