30 Toni Morrison Quotes That Will Inspire You To Work Harder

toni morrison quotes

Toni Morrison, the first black woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, was a prolific writer and speaker whose work continues to inspire different generations. Her books and speeches are full of wisdom and counsel, inspiring even the greatest achievers from the world over. Since my childhood, I have always drawn inspiration to keep working hard from her quotes.

So, instead of running away from challenges, I rely on her wise counsel to be able to overcome them. In this article, I will give you 30 powerful Toni Morrison quotes that will inspire you to work harder.

30 Toni Morrison Quotes to Inspire You to Work Harder

Toni Morrison Quotes to Make You Confident and Daring

#1. “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

#2. “Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.”

#3. “I would solve a lot of literary problems just thinking about a character in the subway, where you can’t do anything anyway.”

#4. “Definitions belong to the definers, not the defined.”

#5. “You are your best thing.”

#6. “Passion is never enough; neither is skill. But try. Forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. Don’t tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief’s wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear’s caul.”

#7. “If you can’t imagine it, you can’t have it.”

#8. “You can do some rather extraordinary things if that’s what you really believe.”

Toni Morrison Quotes to Help You Overcome Fear

#9. “What difference does it make if the thing you’re scared of is real or not?”

#10. “If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it.”

#11. “Somebody has to take responsibility for being a leader.”

#12. “There is really nothing more to say-except why. But since why is difficult to handle, one must take refuge in how.”

#13. “Would it be all right? Would it be all right to go ahead and feel? Go ahead and count on something?”

#14. “If you look at the world as a brutal game, then you bump into the mystery of the tree-shaped scar. There seems to be such a thing as grace, such a thing as beauty, such a thing as harmony. All of which are wholly free and available to us.”

Toni Morrison Quotes That Will Make You Selfless and Limitless

#15. “I tell my students, ‘When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game.”

#16. “Look to yourself. You free. Nothing and nobody is obliged to save you but you. Seek your own land. You young and a woman and there’s serious limitation in both, but you are a person too. Don’t let … some trifling boyfriend and certainly no devil doctor decide who you are. That’s slavery. Somewhere inside you is that free person I’m talking about. Locate her and let her do some good in the world.”

#17. “My world did not shrink because I was a Black female writer. It just got bigger.”

#18. “Make a difference about something other than yourselves.”

#19. “To be given dominion over another is a hard thing; to wrest dominion over another is a wrong thing; to give dominion of yourself to another is a wicked thing.”

#20. “I’m not entangled in shaping my work according to other people’s views of how I should have done it.”

Toni Morrison Quotes to Keep You Going

#21. “I get angry about things, then go on and work.”

#22. “Correct what you can. Learn from what you can’t.”

#23. “To get to a place where you could love anything you chose – not to need permission for desire – well now that was freedom.”

#24. “What’s the world for you if you can’t make it up the way you want it?”

#25. “I get up before the sun rises. Always get up early. I want to beat the sun. So I have to be there just before it comes up. It’s the best time.”

#26. “Suspended between the nastiness of life and the meanness of the dead, she couldn’t get interested in leaving life or living it, let alone the fright of two creeping-off boys. Her past had been like her present—intolerable—and since she knew death was anything but forgetfulness, she used the little energy left her for pondering color.”

Toni Morrison Quotes to help you Let Go of Bad Experiences and Embrace Pain

#27. “You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.”

#28. “When there is pain, there are no words. All pain is the same.”

#29. “Good for you. More it hurt more better it is. Can’t nothing heal without pain, you know.”

#30. “Anger … it’s a paralyzing emotion … you can’t get anything done. People sort of think it’s an interesting, passionate, and igniting feeling — I don’t think it’s any of that — it’s helpless … it’s absence of control — and I need all of my skills, all of the control, all of my powers … and anger doesn’t provide any of that — I have no use for it whatsoever.”

In Summary

The world has always looked to Toni Morrison–a Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author–for wisdom and inspiration both in the pages of her exemplary work and her moving speeches. These Toni Morrison quotes will inspire you to continue chasing your dreams and become a better person.

Furthermore, these quotes by the late author are timeless and will always serve as your infinite source of knowledge and motivation.

Nicole Middleton
Nicole calls herself a typical millennial girl and thrives on her share of social media, celebrity gossip, and all things viral content. She’s a big fan of pop music and plays the guitar as a hobby.