[Toni Morrison 3]

An interview with author Toni Morrison in 1979 about her life, work, and philosophy.

00:00Copy video clip URL Camera setup. John Reilly asks a question about fatherhood in “the black family.”

00:47Copy video clip URL A discussion of the importance of male presence in families, and the cultural traditions and impositions that have shaped the current moment. The division of labor between men and women in raising children, and the impact of men on both male and female children. 

07:01Copy video clip URL A question of the relationship between poverty and the absence of fathers in the black community. “Poverty among black people is caused by white people, not black people,” Morrison responds. “The pain of living a life without the father is caused by white people. If black men were ever emasculated, that was done by white people, not black people.”

08:27Copy video clip URL The balance between being a stable, constant male presence and being “adventurous.” The universal impulse to run towards something new. 

11:22Copy video clip URL Morrison’s own life, in which she left her previous life with her small children. Her family history of women leaving, and the common experience of black women needing to leave. 

17:00Copy video clip URL As the tape winds down, a discussion of Muhammad Ali and the confidence shocking whites. “Muhammad Alis are much more common in my life… that kind of arrogance is much more common in my life than not. But they didn’t do it on a national scale. They couldn’t do it on their jobs…” [tape ends]

 

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