Toni Morrison Called Out Racist American Literature For Good Reason

toni morrison speaking at a podium
Emeka Ochiagha
February 17, 2023

Toni Morrison is one of the greatest American writers of all time. She is the perfect warrior to expose white authors and how they write about Black characters.

She discovered that a lot of current Black stereotypes came from classic American novels – the same novels frequently taught to our children. White Americans wanted to craft narratives that presented themselves as exceptional. The easiest way to do so was to make us their opposites, and cast us in a bad light.

White writers rarely mention the whiteness of a character – they want whiteness to be normalized, non-racial, the default. This makes it easier to make race Black people’s problem.

Morrison also saw that white authors wanted to maintain the purity of the “American Dream,” despite it requiring slavery, genocide, and colonization. In the white imagination, the “American dream” was a God-sent reward for themselves alone.

This is why taking control of Black education is so important. The stories we read affect our imagination, and our imagination crafts the world around us.

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