48 Toni Morrison Quotes To Live Better Life 2024

One of the most celebrated and accomplished authors of our time, Toni Morrison has provided readers with a unique perspective on race and racism in America.

In her essays, speeches, and novels, Morrison illustrates the ways in which racism pervades every aspect of society, from personal relationships to institutional policies.

Below are some powerful quotes from this incredible writer on topics such as race, writing, and life. Read on for inspiration from one of America’s greatest voices.

Toni Morrison Quotes 2024

Toni Morrison Quotes

1. “You are your best thing.” ― Toni Morrison

2. “If you want to fly, you have to give up everything that weighs you down.” ― Toni Morrison

3. “Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all.” ― Toni Morrison

4. “Make a difference about something other than yourselves.” ― Toni Morrison

5. “Definitions belong to the definers, not the defined.” ― Toni Morrison

6. “Like any artist without an art form, she became dangerous.” ― Toni Morrison

7. “Racists always try to make you think they are the majority, but they never are. It’s always the minority against all of the poor, all of the women, or all of the blacks.” ― Toni Morrison

8. “We never shape the world… the world shapes us.” ― Toni Morrison

9. “Something that is loved is never lost.” ― Toni Morrison

10. “You’re turning over your whole life to him. Your whole life, girl. And if it means so little to you that you can just give it away, hand it to him, then why should it mean any more to him? He can’t value you more than you value yourself.” ― Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison Quotes

11. “I dream a dream that dreams back at me.” ― Toni Morrison

12. “Not knowing it was hard; knowing it was harder.” ― Toni Morrison

13. “They encouraged you to put some of your weight in their hands and soon as you felt how light and lovely it was, they studied your scars and tribulations.” ― Toni Morrison

14. “What I think the political correctness debate is really about is the power to be able to define. The definers want the power to name. And the defined are now taking that power away from them.” ― Toni Morrison

15. “Me and you, we got more yesterday than anybody. We need some kind of tomorrow.” ― Toni Morrison

16. “All paradises, all utopias, are designed by who is not there, by the people who are not allowed in.” ― Toni Morrison

17. “If they put an iron circle around your neck I will bite it away.” ― Toni Morrison

18. “Pain. I seem to have an affection, a kind of sweet tooth for it. Bolts of lightning, little rivulets of thunder. And I the eye of the storm.” ― Toni Morrison

19. “As you enter positions of trust and power, dream a little before you think.” ― Toni Morrison

20. “The function of freedom is to free someone else.” ― Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison Quotes

21. “If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it.” ― Toni Morrison

22. “There is really nothing more to say except why. But since why is difficult to handle, one must take refuge in how.” ― Toni Morrison

23. “A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves and very much not ourselves – a special kind of double.” ― Toni Morrison

24. “It is sheer good fortune to miss somebody long before they leave you.” ― Toni Morrison

25. “He wants to put his story next to hers.” ― Toni Morrison

26. “It was a fine cry – loud and long – but it had no bottom and it had no top, just circles and circles of sorrow.” ― Toni Morrison

27. “Anything dead coming back to life hurts.” ― Toni Morrison

28. “A dream is just a nightmare with lipstick.” ― Toni Morrison

29. “She is a friend of mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It’s good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind.” ― Toni Morrison

30. “We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.” ― Toni Morrison

31. “Anger is better. There is a sense of being in anger. A reality and presence. An awareness of worth. It is a lovely surging.” ― Toni Morrison

32. “All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was.” ― Toni Morrison

33. “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.” ― Toni Morrison

34. “Writing is really a way of thinking–not just feeling but thinking about things that are disparate, unresolved, mysterious, problematic or just sweet.” ― Toni Morrison

35. “Let me tell you something. A man ain’t a god-damn axe. Chopping, hacking, busting every god damn minute of the day. Things get to him. Things he can’t chop down because they’re inside.” ― Toni Morrison

36. “Beauty was not simply something to behold; it was something one could do.” ― Toni Morrison

37. “She learned the intricacy of loneliness: the horror of colour, the roar of soundlessness and the menace of familiar objects lying still.” ― Toni Morrison

38. “You don’t have to love me but you damn well have to respect me.” ― Toni Morrison

39. “There is a loneliness that can be rocked. Arms crossed, knees drawn up, holding, holding on, this motion, unlike a ship’s, smooths and contains the rocker. It’s an inside kind–wrapped tight like skin.” ― Toni Morrison

40. “A writer’s life and work are not a gift to mankind; they are its necessity.” ― Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison Quotes

41. “Let me tell you something. A man ain’t a goddamn ax. Chopping, hacking, busting every god damn minute of the day. Things get to him. Things he can’t chop down because they’re inside.” ― Toni Morrison

42. “A good man is a good thing, but there is nothing in the world better than a good woman. She can be your mother, your wife, your girlfriend, your sister, or somebody you work next to. Don’t matter. You find one, stay there. You see a scary one, make tracks.” ― Toni Morrison

43. “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” ― Toni Morrison

44. “As you enter positions of trust and power, dream a little before you think.” ― Toni Morrison

45. “I think that our expectations of women are very low. If women just stand up straight for thirty days, everybody goes, Oh! How brave!” ― Toni Morrison

46. “Nagging. Poison. Gossip. Sneaking around instead of confrontation.” ― Toni Morrison

47. “It was a silly age, twenty-five; too old for teenaged dreaming, too young for settling down. Every corner was a possibility and a dead end.” ― Toni Morrison

48. “In this country American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate.” ― Toni Morrison

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Conclusion: Toni Morrison Quotes 2024

Although her career has spanned over half a century, Toni Morrison’s words are just as poignant and relevant today as when she first started writing.

We hope you enjoyed these quotes from the brilliant Toni Morrison and that they have inspired you in some way. What is your favorite quote? Let us know in the comments!

About Diksha Garg

I am a talented and passionate content writer with a knack for creating captivating and informative articles. With a strong command over language and a keen eye for detail, I deliver engaging content that resonates with readers. With a diverse writing portfolio and a passion for research, I cover a wide range of topics, including technology, lifestyle and education. My commitment to excellence and dedication to my craft make me a reliable and valuable asset in the world of content writing.

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