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  • Writer's pictureAlli Myatt

Day 18 of #29LoveLettersToBlackWomen: Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison would have been 93 today. Ms. Morrison wielded her mighty pen like a sword.

Toni Morrison could WRITE. The way she weaved words together often stops me in my tracks when I'm reading. Toni would tell the truth and shame the devil in the most beautiful ways. She was very clear that she didn't need to center white people in her work, and it was an important part of her own resistance.

Toni Morrison used her power to help propel the careers of other Black authors. Ms. Morrison was an editor at Random House, and is credited for helping the careers of Angela Davis, Toni Cade Bambara, Gayl Jones, and Henry Dumas. Her approach to editing aimed to protect the writers she worked with, set them up for success, and treat them with deep care. Her approach was the embodiment of solidarity in action. (

One of my favorite Toni Morrison quotes was about the distraction of racism: “The function, the very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being. Somebody says you have no language and you spend twenty years proving that you do. Somebody says your head isn’t shaped properly so you have scientists working on the fact that it is. Somebody says you have no art, so you dredge that up. Somebody says you have no kingdoms, so you dredge that up. None of this is necessary. There will always be one more thing.” Toni reminds us that all of it is a farce and invites us to consider the possibility of not being caught up in the farce.

This #BlackHistoryMonth, I'm celebrating 29 Black women who have influenced me through the ways they pursue their own liberation. Black women's work is often unrecognized and not cited, and this month I'm determined to pass out a few flowers to Black women. #Day18 #29LoveLettersToBlackWomen #GiveBlackWomenTheirFlowers

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