A New Toni Morrison Story…

Is on the horizon and I’m besides myself with anticipation. I love Ms. Morrison, she uses fiction to explore truth in a way no one else does. Her perspectives are always insightful, peerless and masterpieces that excavate and explore the human heart in all it’s complexity. No mean feat.

Here’s an excerpt from her upcoming book, God Help The Child, courtesy of the New Yorker:

It’s not my fault. So you can’t blame me. I didn’t do it and have no idea how it happened. It didn’t take more than an hour after they pulled her out from between my legs for me to realize something was wrong. Really wrong. She was so black she scared me. Midnight black, Sudanese black. I’m light-skinned, with good hair, what we call high yellow, and so is Lula Ann’s father. Ain’t nobody in my family anywhere near that color. Tar is the closest I can think of, yet her hair don’t go with the skin. It’s different—straight but curly, like the hair on those naked tribes in Australia. You might think she’s a throwback, but a throwback to what? You should’ve seen my grandmother; she passed for white, married a white man, and never said another word to any one of her children. Any letter she got from my mother or my aunts she sent right back, unopened. Finally they got the message of no message and let her be. Almost all mulatto types and quadroons did that back in the day—if they had the right kind of hair, that is. Can you imagine how many white folks have Negro blood hiding in their veins? Guess. Twenty per cent, I heard. My own mother, Lula Mae, could have passed easy, but she chose not to. She told me the price she paid for that decision. When she and my father went to the courthouse to get married, there were two Bibles, and they had to put their hands on the one reserved for Negroes. The other one was for white people’s hands. The Bible! Can you beat it? My mother was a housekeeper for a rich white couple. They ate every meal she cooked and insisted she scrub their backs while they sat in the tub, and God knows what other intimate things they made her do, but no touching of the same Bible.

For full text click here. You’re Welcome.

Great precursor to my upcoming piece on Colorism….

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2 thoughts on “A New Toni Morrison Story…”

  1. You already know how much Toni Morrison means to me, so I can add not another word! You sound just as excited about the upcoming release of “God Help the Child”.

    I had the opportunity to hear her read this same first chapter at my alma mater last spring. What an incredible experience! I sat among the griots and reveled in their telling.

    In solidarity with great anticipation, we wait…

  2. I too, have been a follower of Toni Morrison’s literary genius for many years and look forward to getting this book. She alarmed the community with “The Bluest Eye” years ago and will again, I imagine, upset those who are still in denial regarding the psychological effects of slavery/colonialism and its legacy of colorism. Unfortunately, the latter continues to divide us and as Iyanla said we must …”acknowledge that it exists”.

    I’ve always been an admirer of your prose and how you skillfully use language to bring light to those feelings and events that at times defy a reasonable explanation. It seems that periodically we must address this malignancy until we successfully remove it. In the past, I’ve written articles on this subject and I’m looking forward to your piece on it.

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