50 Inspirational Toni Morrison Quotes For Success in Life

Chloe Anthony Wofford Morrison (born Chloe Ardelia Wofford; (February 18, 1931 – August 5, 2019), known as Toni Morrison, was an American novelist, essayist, book editor, and college professor. Her first novel, The Bluest Eye, was published in 1970. The critically acclaimed Song of Solomon (1977) brought her national attention and won the National Book Critics Circle Award. In 1988, Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize for Beloved (1987); she gained worldwide recognition when she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. Toni Morrison quotes on love, writing, beauty, education, death, work, and friendship will motivate you to achieve your goals in life.

Best Toni Morrison Quotes

  1. “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” ― Toni Morrison
  2. “You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” ― Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
  3. “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. This is not just a grab-bag candy game.” ― Toni Morrison
  4. “We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.” ― Toni Morrison
  5. “Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.” ― Toni Morrison, Beloved
  6. “Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all.” ― Toni Morrison, Beloved, Toni Morrison quotes on love
  7. “At some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint, or even remember it. It is enough.” ― Toni Morrison
  8. “Sweet, crazy conversations full of half sentences, daydreams and misunderstandings more thrilling than understanding could ever be.” ― Toni Morrison, Beloved
  9. “Love is never any better than the lover. ” ― Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

  10. “A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves and very much not ourselves – a special kind of double.” ― Toni Morrison
  11. “Don’t ever think I fell for you or fell over you. I didn’t fall in love, I rose in it.” ― Toni Morrison, Jazz
  12. “The function of freedom is to free someone else.” ― Toni Morrison
  13. “Lonely was much better than alone.” ― Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
  14. “Make up a story… For our sake and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. Don’t tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief’s wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear’s caul.” ― Toni Morrison, The Nobel Lecture In Literature, 1993
  15. “I dream a dream that dreams back at me” ― Toni Morrison, A Mercy
  16. “Definitions belong to the definers, not the defined.” ― Toni Morrison, Beloved
  17. “And I am all the things I have ever loved: scuppernong wine, cool baptisms in silent water, dream books and number playing.” ― Toni Morrison
  18. “Let me tell you something. A man ain’t a goddamn ax. Chopping, hacking, busting every goddamn minute of the day. Things get to him. Things he can’t chop down because they’re inside.” ― Toni Morrison, Beloved
  19. “Along with the idea of romantic love, she was introduced to another–physical beauty. Probably the most destructive ideas in the history of human thought. Both originated in envy, thrived in insecurity, and ended in disillusion.” ― Toni Morrison

  20. “You are your best thing” ― Toni Morrison, Beloved
  21. “Lonely, ain’t it? Yes, but my lonely is mine. Now your lonely is somebody else’s. Made by somebody else and handed to you. Ain’t that something? A secondhand lonely.” ― Toni Morrison, Sula
  22. “What difference do it make if the thing you scared of is real or not?” ― Toni Morrison
  23. “Anything dead coming back to life hurts.” ― Toni Morrison
  24. “We mistook violence for passion, indolence for leisure, and thought recklessness was freedom.” ― Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
  25. “If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it.” ― Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
  26. “Me and you, we got more yesterday than anybody. We need some kind of tomorrow.” ― Toni Morrison, Beloved
  27. “He wants to put his story next to hers.” ― Toni Morrison, Beloved
  28. “Anger … it’s a paralyzing emotion … you can’t get anything done. People sort of think it’s an interesting, passionate, and igniting feeling — I don’t think it’s any of that — it’s helpless … it’s absence of control — and I need all of my skills, all of the control, all of my powers … and anger doesn’t provide any of that — I have no use for it whatsoever.” ― Toni Morrison
  29. “As you enter positions of trust and power, dream a little before you think.” ― Toni Morrison
  30. “A dream is just a nightmare with lipstick.” ― Toni Morrison

  31. “Something that is loved is never lost.” ― Toni Morrison, Beloved
  32. “Beauty was not simply something to behold; it was something one could do.” ― Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison quotes on beauty
  33. “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, The Bluest Eye
  34. “All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was.” ― Toni Morrison
  35. “It is sheer good fortune to miss somebody long before they leave you.” ― Toni Morrison, Sula
  36. “We mistook violence for passion, indolence for leisure, and thought recklessness was freedom.” ― Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
  37. “The presence of evil was something to be first recognized, then dealt with, survived, outwitted, triumphed over.” ― Toni Morrison, Sula
  38. “I wrote my first novel because I wanted to read it.” ― Toni Morrison
  39. “Everything depends on knowing how much,” she said, and “Good is knowing when to stop.” ― Toni Morrison, Beloved
  40. “You don’t have to love me but you damn well have to respect me.” ― Toni Morrison, God Help the Child

  41. “Today is always here,’ said Sethe. ‘Tomorrow, never.” ― Toni Morrison, Beloved
  42. “No matter how hard we try to ignore it, the mind always knows truth and wants clarity.” ― Toni Morrison, God Help the Child
  43. 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, Toni Morrison quotes on writing
  44. “There is really nothing more to say-except why. But since why is difficult to handle, one must take refuge in how.” ― Toni Morrison
  45. “At some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint or even remember it. It is enough. No record of it needs to be kept and you don’t need someone to share it with or tell it to. When that happens — that letting go — you let go because you can.” ― Toni Morrison, Tar Baby, Toni Morrison quotes on life
  46. “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
  47. “Not knowing it was hard; knowing it was harder” ― Toni Morrison

  48. “You can’t own a human being. You can’t lose what you don’t own. Suppose you did own him. Could you really love somebody who was absolutely nobody without you? You really want somebody like that? Somebody who falls apart when you walk out the door? You don’t, do you? And neither does he. 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, Song of Solomon
  49. “What you do to children matters. And they might never forget.” ― Toni Morrison, God Help the Child
  50. “What’s the world for you if you can’t make it up the way you want it?” ― Toni Morrison, Jazz
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