Through Love and Loss, Toni Morrison's Most Inspiring Quotes

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We’ve lost another treasured being. Toni Morrison was a gifted storyteller, captivating author, and true inspiration to us all. I still remember getting chills while reading Beloved and The Bluest Eye in high school and can feel the pull to pick those books up and read them again. Her writing was beautiful and eery, and left a deep and lasting impact on our nation. We are so blessed that she shared so much of herself with us. Our nation is forever changed by her words. Thank you, Toni. You will be missed.

10 of My Favorite Quotes from Toni Morrison

  1. "Definitions belong to the definers, not the defined."

  2. "If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it."

  3. "Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another." Beloved

  4. “You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.”

  5. "Don't ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn't fall in love, I rose in it." Jazz

  6. "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."

  7. "Your life is already artful—waiting, just waiting, for you to make it art."

  8. "History has always proved that books are the first plain on which certain battles are fought."

  9. "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. No record of it needs to be kept and you don't need someone to share it with or tell it to. When that happens—that letting go—you let go because you can." Tar Baby

  10. "Our past is bleak. Our future dim. But I am not reasonable. A reasonable man adjusts to his environment. An unreasonable man does not. All progress, therefore, depends on the unreasonable man. I prefer not to adjust to my environment. I refuse the prison of 'I' and choose the open spaces of 'we.'"