TONI MORRISON: The Pain Of Being Black

TONI MORRISON, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for her gritty novel Beloved, smolders at the inequities that blacks and women still face

Q. In your contemporary novels you portray harsh confrontation between black and white. In Tar Baby a character says, "White folks and black folks should not sit down and eat together or do any of those personal things in life." It seems hopeless if we can't bridge the abysses you see between sexes, classes, races.

A. I feel personally sorrowful about black-white relations a lot of the time because black people have always been used as a buffer in this country between powers to prevent class war, to prevent other kinds of real conflagrations.

If there were no black people here...

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