5 Best Quotes By Toni Morrison

5 Best Quotes By Toni Morrison

"You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down."


Publishing her novel in 1970, Toni Morrison emerged onto the literary scene in America, taking critics and viewers by storm with what is considered to be her finest works to date "The Bluest Eye". Met with polarizing reception for its compassionate, yet a cruel examination of racism and incest, audiences and scholars alike praised 39-year-old at the time for her brave, but an evocative narrative that gave voice to many resurfacing issues that continue to hamper the African-American Community today.

Winning a Pulitzer Prize in 1988 for her most highly regarded novel "Beloved", and a Nobel Prize half a decade later for the lasting mark she has left on American Literature, the native of Lorain, Ohio, with her commanding voice as candid as it is lyrical like the utterance of a lullaby, is the very personification of the very best storytelling of the late 20th century has to offer. A Magnum Opus of words, here are five of Toni Morrison's most powerful quotes that have left many feeling empowered:

1. "Love is or it ain't. Thin love ain't love at all."

Love is love. Nothing more. Nothing less.

2. "In this country American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate."

If you're Chinese, Japanese, or Korean, you're Asian-American. If you're Cuban, Mexican, or have ties anywhere from Central or South America, you're Latin-American. If you're black, you're African-American but if you're white, you're American. Not Irish, British, Scottish, or Franco-American, just American. See the problem?

3. "You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down."

Everyone has a past, a history, and nobody is exempt from one. Least of all a history that paints a past full of mistakes. Mistakes that make us feel that perhaps we ourselves are the mistake and that we're better off leaving the world to move on without us but that's what makes us unique. We produce mistakes as much as we are the product of them, and we are bound to make more. The best we can is learn from them so that when we go on to make the world turn, we can turn it into something beautifullong-lost the past and history love more than the memory of flaws.

4. "Freeing yourself is one thing, claiming that ownership of that freed self was another."

In order to be who you are, you have to shut out the white noise. A noise that never shuts up as far as telling you what you should, or ought to be is concerned. Only you get to be, nobody else, just you. But its hard -- to be yourself when the last thing you know is yourself. But that's what being alive is about. The journey. One where you may never find the answer but that's all its about. The journey. So enjoy it.

5. "Love is never better than the lover. Wicked people love wickedly, violent people love violently, weak people love weakly, stupid people love stupidly, but the love of a free man is never safe. There is no gift for the beloved. The lover alone possesses his gift of love."

For an emotion so divine, perfection, and without boundaries, there is no way embody and act out the purity of its essence. Least of all on the count of people. People so confined to the innate presence of flaw that the best they can do is perform a close adaption but an adaption of love isn't love, its just an adaption. Something that can offer us levity, a temporary escape. It doesn't stick around long enough to free us, let alone to conquer -- something anything that masquerades as love must do first.

Now 87, almost five decades older from the time "The Blues Eye" first made its way into public circulation, Toni Morrison still remains for a little longer to leave behind in words and pages what she has already filled with so many words, and many pages--- a song, a lullaby. A lullaby that will continue to sing long after she has stopped singing, and sing to readers anew with an old candor, and long-lost compassion. Compassion to find the lost, for the lost to find themselves, and nameless selves to find a voice. Which they will spell into words of candor, a name. One that speaks to be recognized. Just like all those recognized have a name.

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11 Things Psychology Majors Hear That Drive Them Crazy

No pun intended.

We've all been there. You're talking to a new acquaintance, or a friend of your parents, or whoever. And then, you get the dreaded question.

"So what are you studying in school?"

Cue the instant regret of picking Psychology as your major, solely for the fact that you are 99.9% likely to receive one of the slightly comical, slightly cliche, slightly annoying phrases listed below. Don't worry though, I've included some responses for you to use next time this comes up in conversation. Because it will.

Quick side note, these are all real-life remarks that I've gotten when I told people I was a psych major.

Here we go.

1. So are you, like, analyzing me right now?

Well, I wasn't. But yeah. Now I am.

2. Ugh so jealous! You picked the easy major.

"Lol" is all I have to say to this one. I'm gonna go write my 15-page paper on cognitive impairment. You have fun with your five college algebra problems, though!

3. So can you tell me what you think is wrong with me? *Shares entire life story*

Don't get me wrong; I love listening and helping people get through hard times. But we can save the story about how one time that one friend said that one slightly rude comment to you for later.

4. Well, s**t, I have to be careful what I say around you.

Relax, pal. I couldn't diagnose and/or institutionalize you even if I wanted to.

5. OMG! I have the perfect first client for you! *Proceeds to vent about ex-boyfriend or girlfriend*

Possible good response: simply nod your head the entire time, while actually secretly thinking about the Ben and Jerry's carton you're going to go home and demolish after this conversation ends.

6. So you must kind of be like, secretly insane or something to be into Psychology.

Option one: try and hide that you're offended. Option two: just go with it, throw a full-blown tantrum, and scare off this individual, thereby ending this painful conversation.

7. Oh. So you want to be a shrink?

First off, please. Stop. Calling. Therapists. Shrinks. Second, that's not a psych major's one and only job option.

8. You know you have to go to grad school if you ever want a job in Psychology.

Not completely true, for the record. But I am fully aware that I may have to spend up to seven more years of my life in school. Thanks for the friendly reminder.

9. So you... want to work with like... psychopaths?

Let's get serious and completely not-sarcastic for a second. First off, I take personal offense to this one. Having a mental illness does not classify you as a psycho, or not normal, or not deserving of being treated just like anyone else on the planet. Please stop using a handful of umbrella terms to label millions of wonderful individuals. It's not cool and not appreciated.

10. So can you, like, read my mind?

It actually might be fun to say yes to this one. Try it out and see what happens. Get back to me.

11. You must be a really emotional person to want to work in Psychology.

Psychology is more than about feeling happy, or sad, or angry. Psychology is about understanding the most complex thing to ever happen to us: our brain. How it works the way it does, why it works the way it does, and how we can better understand and communicate with this incredibly mysterious, incredibly vast organ in our tiny little skull. That's what psychology is.

So keep your head up, psychology majors, and don't let anyone discourage you about choosing, what is in my opinion, the coolest career field out there. The world needs more people like us.

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To Percy Jackson, I Hope You're Well...

Percy Jackson and the Olympians and the Heroes of Olympus are both series which helped shape my life. I want to share my love for them here, with you.


Two days before I moved from New Jersey to California, I had a late night at a friend's house. Just a few miles outside of my small town of Morris Plains, his house was out of the way and a safe haven for myself and my mother during a harrowing and strenuous move. My father had been across the country already for almost two months trying to hold down his new job and prove himself. His absence was trying on me (at the tender young age of nine years old) and my mother, and we often spent time at my friend's home, as our mothers got along well.

That night came the time to say goodbye for the very last time, and as our mothers were tearfully embracing at the door, he ran up to me and shoved a book in my hands. Bewildered and confused, I tried to give him my thanks but he was already gone - running away in a childish fit that expressed his hurt at my leaving more than any words he could've said. I looked down at the book in my hands. It was a battered copy of Rick Riordan's "The Lightning Thief," with its binding bulging slightly out in a strange fashion, the cover slightly torn and bent, and quite a few pages dog-eared. The book wasn't in good condition, but I took the time to read it. I was ensnared and enchanted by the lurid descriptions of mythology, of the lovable characters of Percy, Annabeth, and Grover, and the upside-down world they lived in. Over the course of the move and our eventual settling into our new California home, I devoured the series adamantly, reading "The Battle of the Labyrinth" almost five times in the fifth grade and eventually finishing out with "The Last Olympian." The series accompanied me through a difficult move and a whirlwhind of early puberty; by that time, Percy and friends I knew intimately as my own companions. When the series ended, I happily parted with it, and began other literary conquests (namely in the realm of classics).

After an almost year-long break, I re-discovered the series in sixth grade. I hadn't realized that there was a companion series to the first, in fact, a continuation - The Heroes of Olympus. I lapped up "The Lost Hero" and "The Son of Neptune" with greed, and eagerly awaited the arrival of "The Mark of Athena" the following year.

One of my most vivid memories of middle school was sneaking downstairs the morning of the Kindle release of "The Mark of Athena", sneaking past my parents' bedroom as stealthily as I could in the wee hours of the morning to get my kindle and immerse myself in the world. I believe I finished it in about two days. For the next two books in the series, I followed the same pattern: get up early, read it as fast as I could get my hands on it. "The Blood of Olympus", the last book in the series, came out in my freshman year of high school. After finishing the second series, I shelved my much-loved paperbacks for good, and turned myself to other literary pursuits. I eventually relocated to Virginia, and went to college. Percy and friends were almost forgotten until my first year at the University of Virginia.

I was devastatingly alone my first semester at university. I didn't know what to do with myself, entombed by my loneliness. However, at the bottom of my suitcase, I found my old Kindle Paperwhite, with both of Percy's series neatly installed for me. I made a resolution with myself: I would reread both series, reading only at mealtimes where I sat alone. By the time I was finished, I wanted to see where I was compared to when I started.

Re-reading the series was like coming home. It was nostalgia, sadness, and ecstasy wrapped into one. I delighted in revisiting Percy's old haunts, his friends, his challenges. However, it was sad, knowing I had grown up and left them behind while they had stayed the same. It was a riveting memory train which made me look forward to meals, and eased my loneliness at school. Gradually, as the semester progressed, I was reading on Percy's tales less and less, as I found my friends, clubs, and organizations that gradually took up more and more time.

I still haven't finished my re-read, and am about halfway through "The Blood of Olympus". I've come a long way in the almost decade since I first received that tattered copy of "The Lightning Thief", and I still have some ways to go. So thanks, Percy, Annabeth, Grover, Jason, Piper, Reyna, Nico, Frank, Hazel, Leo. Thank you for growing up with me. I'll never forget you.


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