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Remembering Toni Morrison

Make a difference about something other than yourselves. -Toni Morrison 

I turned on my computer this morning and saw that author Toni Morrison had died, at 88 years old. She was a great thinker, who put those thoughts on race and relationships into words in creative and beautiful ways. So it seems fitting to contemplate some quotes from her. 

An emeritus professor of Princeton, she said: “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.” 

Things I have found out about her: although she was raised in the African Methodist Episcopal tradition, she chose to become Roman Catholic at a young age. And even though she did not practice catholicism in her later years, she continued to bear the name she chose at her Catholic baptism: Anthony (of Padua), which became Toni. And, she continued to write in broad strokes of the religious themes of sacrifice and love and grace. Her most acclaimed novel is Beloved. Beloved is very much a word of people of faith, a word of liturgy. 

Other thoughts from her: 

“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.” 

“Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another.” 

May inspiration from deep thinkers enrich your life this week.


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