The Bluest Eye (Toni Morrison)

"Everybody in the world was in a position to give them orders. White women said: "Do this." White children said: "Give me that." White men said: "Come here." Black men said: "Lay down."

"Everybody in the world was in a position to give them orders. White women said: "Do this." White children said: "Give me that." White men said: "Come here." Black men said: "Lay down."

U.S.A. / 1970

"Quiet as it's kept," this is the best book ever written. Pecola Breedlove is a little Black girl growing up in small-town Ohio. Her tragic story of rape and self-hatred - as well as her family's devastating history - is told by another little girl, her friend, Claudia, whose family has problems of their own. This is a novel about Black girlhood and the ways in which older folks' traumas tend to corrupt it. Morrison's narrative is subtle, yet shockingly profound and incredibly relatable. In this little book, she manages to masterfully deconstruct the traumas and legacies of heartbreak prevalent in so many Black American families - due, of course, to slavery's legacy of crippled manhood and violated womanhood. I have read this book three times, and I would read it a thousand more.

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