Race And Colorism In Toni Morrison's The Origins Of Others

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As a rising intellectual, I believe Toni Morrison’s discussion of the beginnings of race and blackness, in addition to the unpacking of African Americans’ internalized oppression which has resulted in colorism, make The Origins of Others a necessary and thought provoking reading--despite its flaws. The Origins of Others is written on a bases that questions the meaning of race, its purpose, and how it has been projected onto individuals so extensively that it has become a social norm throughout the world; Morrison develops these questions in way that allows room for the reader to form his or her own opinions without feeling stifled or led on. Morrison dives right into her topic from the beginning by asserting that, “Race has been a constant arbiter of difference, as have wealth, class, and gender--each of which is about the power and necessity of control” (3). In other words, race, like many other categories of division in capitalistic and patriarchal societies, was created as means of power and control and throughout the novel Morrison builds on this concept. She chooses to define race as “the classification of a species” (15)--chooses because race is no longer defined that way--to say that race itself is not the issue because it does not apply to the color of one’s skin but simply what kind of animal one is classified as (upon which the human race would be classified as homosapiens). What is the problem, from Morrison’s perspective (which is denoted my her use of the
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