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"tony rhonda rosalyn" Discussed on The Nod
"It's a a little crazy to listen to this. Now you hear the name Toni Morrison and you think of the literary legend a Regal Nobel laureate whose books are a fixture on family bookshelves enlists of great American novels. That's the version of Tony Morrison that a lot of people my age and younger grew up with and she helped create a world where more people could imagine themselves doing what she'd he'd done to this week. In the wake of her death we wanted to hear from women who grew up in that world about how they first made their way to Morrison's work and what it's meant to them over the years she was a deity already before I was born like it was understood with a human people like Oh. This woman is she's everything we'll start with Britney loose. She's Co host of the not my mom she stayed at home with us in so oprah was always on four PM at least in on the east coast. It's four PM after school and Oprah was is not shy about choosing Tony Morrison for her co picks. Britney's mom watched Oprah and Britney's. MOM bought those books so they were always around the house and they felt familiar long before Brittany had actually actually read them even just a picture of Morrison on the jacket. She'll start a grandma. She looks like she looks like a like. A cool auntie grandma when she also has such a I mean Tony is is like such a Tony Rhonda Rosalyn like these are all good like auntie sister cousin grandma friend name like his name Rosalyn. Tony Rhonda like this is somebody who is going to be on the phone with three o'clock in the morning laughing. They always have the T. like she just had. I didn't mean that was just so like Tony Morrison. It's like it's. It's a complete sentence. I read the bluest eye. How old are you I. I was probably fifteen or sixteen 'cause it was around the house and it had an Oprah's book club. Pick at any of those that were in the house. I read them. The bluest eye was Morrison's first novel came out in Nineteen Seventy but she'd started it years before in a writing group at Howard University and for a lot of the women we talked to the the bluest eye was their first taste of Tony Morrison. It's a book that might catch your eye. If you're ten or thirteen or sixteen years old it tells the story of an eleven year old girl growing up in the nineteen forties ladies. She thinks she's ugly and what she wants more than anything is to have blue eyes like a white girl. I was growing up in the mostly white suburb Robert. I felt like I was sort of out of step with most of the other people around me but I didn't have the language for it and so when I I read the Bluest I I was reading it for the plot and that was like this is sad. I hadn't understanding in the like situationally in the book that she thought that Whiteness could save her from her life but like I didn't have a sophisticated understanding of how that same same sort of system of oppression was making me feel a certain way probably because maybe it was like two combination too obvious in too painful from the vehicle to connect that back to my own experience in a way that like really would have made me feel like totally like oh man. I'm fucked when she first read the bluest eye. Brittany wasn't focused on what Morrison listen could tell her about her life right now. She was more interested in what Morrison had to say about her possible. Future about all the things she didn't know yet when it came to being an adult the mother and the a father began having sexual relationship and there was some way that she described something like about feeling all of the colors or something like that which is basically euphemistic for hanging orgasm or at least experiencing some sort of like carnal pleasure. Let's say and like it was just the most delicate L. A. Cat but most tawdry like I was like. This is a door habit hit yet yeah. I haven't had experience with somebody else yeah. I'm like Oh my God is. This is like something interesting. There's also knew it wasn't just about the feeling or the event it was about put how that relationship drew her to this bound to this man yeah and it felt like real grown women stuff and shit a gave me a window into this idea that something else transpired when you had sex with. Somebody wasn't isn't just like this. this physical experience there was so much. There's so much else attached to it. It was like you and another person really working together or just not where it was collaborations I will yeah it was just sort of piqued my interest and it made me like Oh there's more here so that was what corporate attention the first time around but a few years later she read the bluest eye again and this time it hit her in a new way. It was the first semester of my freshman year at Howard University which is where I went and also where Tony went. I was in an all girls dorm and so the first semester we're all in freshman composition like our English class and they have us read the Bluest Eye uh-huh and reading the bluest eye among all those black girls at Howard where she went and where she taught and teaching this book I didn't think about how deep that was but that was a pretty deep experience at night they sit around the dorm talking about Toni Morrison. I had never really been around that large group of black women at once hearing black women from a variety of shades brown skin dark skin light skin like you know different types of hair in all different types of facial features and everybody's sort of opening up about how they hit experienced color them or how they hadn't realizing that they hadn't and and realizing what sort of like what was insidious about that yeah and not fair about that and so it was like that book was an entryway to so many conversations that I had that I cherished with so many women who are so close to me now. I think I felt pity when I read the book the first time I think that the second time only three years later I think I felt understanding. I think that was always the magic of Toni Morrison's books. How do you think it would be different now. Were it not for your experiences reading. Tony Morrison thing out Tony Morrison is I think for every black woman especially every black American woman she she made you feel like you deserve to take up space like there was a like. I don't know it's like there's this quote that she has. She is a friend of my mind. She gathered me man the pieces I am. She gathered them. She get them back to me and all the right order. It's good you know when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind that is that is how I think She's like the best friend. The smart friend like the most like the friends like reading. Her books felt like just having somebody. It just makes sense of you. Tony Morrison wrote books that got passed from hand to hand. Maybe from your mom or your cousin or are slightly older cooler friend so I I encountered her through my older sister who he's seven years older than me so we hey lock is a news writer at falter less week J- actually wrote up the blog posts that broke the news of Toni Morrison's death remembers I taking Morrison Offer Sister Shelf so when I was about eleven I remember just sort of hanging out in her bedroom while she was doing something completely different not really paying attention to me at all that I was just sitting around and to try to get her to talk to me. I was like Oh which book from your bookshelf. Should I read. I'm pretty sure she was very blase. It was very much. It's like do read the Bluest so I just decided I'll read the book and then we'll have something to talk to my sister about and she'll notice me and it'll be great although he was trying to impress her sister the book itself snuck up on her reading how Morrison's protagonist felt about Shirley temple recognize something she felt herself like the books and the TV shows that are filled with white heroes. I really desperately wanted to be but couldn't couldn't fully see myself in who'd you remember wanting to be or who who was like that to you when you were eleven when my immediately is Rory Gilmore more like I love Gilmore Girls. It's a good show but I remember wanting to like go to a boarding school in Connecticut and have her hair. Her hair would like being in a braid down her down her back. Sometimes I remember being like a liquor hair so beautiful and those Alexis del is Liz. There's a big blue eyes yeah yeah so for me reading it was like two main lesson one racism bad and I sort of already become very familiar with that so I was like okay that but then also the idea that these characters in books and TV shows I wanted to be so bad weren't for the solution solution to finding who I was as a person. A friend and I were talking about this recently. The question was what is a book that you know you are way too young to read and for me. It was the bluest eye I'm not too so as co host of call your girlfriend she discovered Morrison through the bluest eye to and even though it's a book about a kid it's dark not just because it's dealing with racism internalized and otherwise it also tells the story of a child who's raped and who becomes pregnant with her father's baby. I ran the Bluest I probably I wouldn't say I was nine or ten. I was a very very precocious reader so I just picked up everything around the house and Yeah I remember very much realizing as I was reading it that this was not something my parents now. I was reading and I just I remember just feeling so both this feeling feeling of like wow these are really adult themes but also these are things. These are things that are happening to me. I'm a survivor of childhood sexual assault and and reading this book was really It was really eye opening. I remember just feeling really affected by the by the story and saying like okay. This is not a thing I can talk talk to my mom and dad about because I like grab Muslim. There was like a lot of.