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18 times Toni Morrison slayed you softly with her words

From her unyielding conviction to write beyond the white gaze, to her profound themes on womanhood, love, the value of black men in America, religion, and colorism, Toni Morrison has said it all...and then some.
Photo: tumblr
Photo: tumblr
Photo: tumblr That's why the author, born Chloe Ardelia Wofford, is celebrated as the First Lady of Literature today. On her 85th birthday we've rounded up some of her most profound statements on love, language, and self.

1. "I got my mind. And what goes on in it. Which is to say, I got me." (Sula)

Photo: youtube
Photo: youtube
Photo: youtube

2. "You are your best thing." (Beloved)

3. "I've been just bored with evil. It's just not interesting. Evil wears a top hat, and it has tap shoes, and a cape, and it's on stage. And it's hollering. And goodness is always backstage, sort of waving. [Evil's] gotta have a costume. It's gotta be loud. It's gotta be bloody. Are you gonna do a double take?"
Photo: tumblr
Photo: tumblr
Photo: tumblr

4. "All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was."

5. "Art reminds us that we belong here. And if we serve, we last."

http://thestoryscape.tumblr.com/post/77074763376/i-am-a-writer-and-my-faith-in-the-world-of-art
6. "If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it." (Song of Solomon)

7. "She is a friend of my mind..." (Beloved)

Photo: instagram
Photo: instagram
Photo: instagram

8. "Love is divine only and difficult always. You do not deserve love regardless of the suffering you have endured. You do not deserve love because somebody did you wrong. You do not deserve love because you want it. You can only earn -- by practice and careful contemplation -- the right to express it and you have to learn how to accept it." (Paradise)

9. "I didn't fall in love, I rose in it." (Jazz)

10. "Love is or it ain't. Thin love ain't love at all." (Beloved)

Photo: youtube
Photo: youtube
Photo: youtube 11. "Make a difference about something, other than yourselves."

12. "Oppressive language does more than represent violence, it is violence; does more than represent the limits of knowledge, it limits knowledge." (Nobel Lecture, 1993)

Photo: youtube
Photo: youtube
Photo: youtube 13. "There is really nothing more to say -- except why. But since why is difficult to handle, one must take refuge in how." 14. "Nothing could be counted on in a world where even when you were a solution, you were a problem." (Beloved) 15. "It's important to know who the real enemy is and to know the very serious function of racism, which is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining over and over your reason for being." (Morrison on Black Artists in Portland, 1975)
Photo: huffington post
Photo: huffington post
Photo: huffingtonpost

16. "Your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else."

Photo: tumblr
Photo: tumblr
Photo: tumblr 17. "As you enter positions of trust and power, dream a little before you think."

18. "Does your face light up?"

What are some of your favorite Toni Morrison quotes? Share them with us and with your friends below, and let's celebrate her birthday with the gifts she's given to us, her words!

Photo: telegraph.co.uk
Photo: telegraph.co.uk
Photo: telegraph.co.uk

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