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“The Oprah Winfrey Show”: Toni Morrison

2019-08-14 | 🔗

In memory of legendary author Toni Morrison, this encore presentation of an “Oprah Winfrey Show” episode features an interview with the Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author. They discusses one of Oprah’s all-time favorite books, Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye.” Oprah and Morrison are joined by four diverse viewers who have a special connection to the book. This discussion also contains one of the greatest lessons Oprah has ever learned, when Morrison posed the question: “When your child enters the room, does your face light up?” Finally, Oprah adds a special message expressing her thoughts on Morrison’s passing.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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I'm Oprah Winfrey welcome to supersede conversations the podcast. I believe that one of the most valuable gives you can give yourself is time taking time to be more fully present. Your journey to become more inspired and connected to the deeper world around us starts right now, hello everyone earlier this week we lost another legend off tony Morrison. She passed away and eighty eight years old. She was the first african american woman to win the Nobel Prize for literature? She influent countless writers, and readers around the world. She was a master of words and had a pro found impact on me. I was how to choose for her novels, where my book club the interviewed her on the upper shell. Many times we have an encore presentation of our interview about her very first book. The blue.
I do after the show that I heard from women around the world, who told me how color ism just like that depicted in the poorest. I m. Then people of color in many different cultures it was during this show when Tony gave one of the greatest lessons that I've law to share she talked about. Children and how what children are really looking for is Do you eyes light up? Does your face lit up when they enter the room? It's that simple and the ultimate way to validate them as human beings? I care- that lesson inside my Spirit, along with Tony's remarkable gorgeous epic works. Here's a look back and my interview with Tony Morrison and the blue sky, The world will miss her. I will miss her, but thankfully we are left with her word,
What you gonna here is a powerful and wonderful, an unforgettable, but each night without me, she prayed for an unforgettable. Shall I ever spending months pressing on with his skin, just hoping that it will turn white and unforgettable author, because once blue eyes, because in moral they represent beauty and unforgettable insights when a kid walk cinema did you face lighter? Let your face speak. What's in your high, our most profound book club show ever next. Not all the books be done in the book club. Obviously I have to read them and then choose them. Some people love.
lot of them, some people doll, but the blue. I uh this month's election is so special to me. It is one of my all time, favorites and I'll. Tell you why at the heart of the was. I is twelve, Europa call a breed love who thought but she was so ugly. Nobody would possibly love her and regardless of what color you are, there are a lot of women who have defined themselves by what other people think of them over the course of the ass bond. We ve been flooded with letters and emails from all races and cultures times over two hundred responses. I day. All because of this one little girl, I'm so so. Please that all of you all races and cultures related to her. This. One little girl who was dismissed as unlovable has touched your arts and mine. So for me the beauty of this book is that put COLA color and all the particulars of the world, have finally gotten our day: the message in the bluest, I saw universal that I really believe we all could learn from
and no matter where you live or who you are we're going to begin now, with an explanation of one of my favorite books of all time, the bluest I from Author herself, listen Tony Morrison, tells how even the youngest and most innocent could grow up and learn to hate her, she is here in green and why it has a red door is very pretty here is the family there? very soon she hasn't redress, has a red dress. She won, the pay with to see the dog Bow goes to jog play Jane playing the primary both first reader, first Grey, was it an example of the devastation that come Everybody is judged by one story. Were you?
the family, classic mother, Father dog child that impossible idea for everyone, this measure against this particular family at the centre of the book people blue eyes, because world their superior. They represent beauty. It would make it a difference if she were the most beautiful child has chemist. No one's gonna look at was important for me to say at that time I was. Writing spoke about sixty five through to the end, and I d sixty nine that racism, that kind of abuse on children her deep, and it is devastating if you can
to enslave people you have to persuaded yourself that their inferior and you have to attack the things that they have that they might take some pleasure in one's own language, Tom the can speak no way to watch what you are We want more. You owe me real on the other history. and one is the way they look the tunisian people. In images eventually it's so consists, so persistent. You begin to feel inferior. Lesser. Less powerful, less attractive, less everything, because
Very little amounted it supports. You cannot drink from those cannot sit his pipe restaurant or even into etc. Everything forces and its difficult for parents like children try to tell them they're wrong in your right, so eventually the self conceit Canada is a part of you make in that, as happened with many groups and sit with Africa, hence as well and the police. I I wanted to show real devastation of this concept of self image, thousands of your rodya and about how the bluest I affected you many letter, were from women, who wrote in graphic detail about how They hated who they were all because of the way they looked here are some of the things you ve said, along with more
It's on beauty from Tony Morrison. each night without fail. She prayed fervently four year, someone she was to have soared color. To make my eyes liner boy told me that I was dirty and that's why it's black. You know how terrible it was for us which damage me too. I believe I was in the bathroom wash its hands pressing on the skin, just hoping that it will turn white I used to
My head down, because I just never thought I was when I was astonished- I, who the vision of this book were white women in white girl, as well as minority Asian Letty african american girls. I understand that failing of wanting to look different so that people with like something you do too far, I was scrawny Hale little runs away, Jack, o lantern teeth and fuzzy long hair. it really willing to stand lips, that's all to complete and so to twelve year old boy. Coal is wise or equivalent to my hips, but I
start will weigh way to beg the hunger for planning system profound. The perfect family always seem to have looked like writing. I was thinking about getting these blue eyes to match my phone book. While I finished at book- and I said no Diane, I can't do that when we played make believe one of the things we did with put our blue cardigans around her forehead. So we can have long flowing hair and a beautiful ladys, but they find some, not comfort, but authenticity. Someone knows what it was like God at eight board. Member wanting to commit suicide. That's something I do remember the way. I look. Yes did her a girl. I try not to ask this a lot, but if you could just put aside, the bills are tonight to dinner for the next twenty men To sell what you're gonna hear is both power
full and wonderful, especially if you a mother of any kind of child. The thousands of you who wrote an email does. Thank you so much your comments. Help too. Our show today, even those it didn't get on, even if you weren't chosen for the discussion before began to meet the for women who sat down with us, Stephanie is authority for Euro lawyer in Burma. Texas Diana the guidance counselor who grew up in Lorraine, Ohio, the setting of the Whilst I and also twenty Morrison's hometown Ruth as a mother, eight children, including three african can girls at she adopted in June is a single woman who works for. Tell chain in San Francisco and see for yourself are both conversations are never about just the book
but a good book does is open doors to other areas and nobody opens more doors that miss Tony Morrison so put down whatever you're doing and listen. You need to listen to this because it has some of the most important insight. I've heard about raising children. Well. You know I have this to say about the bluest. I remember when I announce it on the show. I was saying, if you don't appreciate, I love this book, then I'm really. I have nothing to say to you and I just said- and I really do mean that I have to say I was at an airport not too long ago, and I saw an entire row of bluest eyes like in like in a major airport, telling you my eyes started to water, because I thought the kola has or day How do you feel about me? I know this is a first. Does it feel like Your baby has finally come into an ape how Please emotional,
I am about this book and the character On the one hand, I still feel told- entangled most? only a very vulnerable to them that the characters in the book and I'd- that's not good for rider don't go anywhere more to come after this short break Today's episode is supported by american heritage. Chocolate have you ever baked anything that required graded chocolate. It can be a little messy and time consuming. Eric inherited chocolate, Mars, Wrigley Brand has the answer. Finally, graded baking chocolate easy to use and easy to melt all I have to do, is measure and including your favorite recipes Eric inherited chocolate, replace a semi sweet chocolate one to one in any recipe from we'd savory dishes that work for breakfast lunch dinner and everything in between a base, their chocolate off of historic recipes from the seventeen hundreds and included spices that were popular at the time?
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Are you wrote the book and we see all the images and the cartoons between the first time? I saw that peace. Did you know watching for dressing room? I was very emotional about it and asking myself is You know some residue pain that I have, or is it for all Those girls are the girl. I once was for all those girls? I think so, because I had the same feeling that, while this cutting so deeply. Now I wrote the book, I lived the life, I did this wise, it heard and I realize where's my eyes were filling up whatever it was fairly. It was also for those girls. What started you to write it? I began to write this story, a stone simply about an incident that took place when I was maybe Levin at twelve years old. about this girl who said she wore a blue eyes in your class and I'd. All I remember about the moment was looking at her. Suddenly,
And seeing how extraordinarily beautiful she was, but when I looked at her and imagined her with blue eyes, suddenly the way she looked made me gas it was like a mutilation, the fact that she really wanted to look like a freak, which is what blue eyes would have made her look like The damage is already done. Corazza correct, so I thought Wise guy. Remember how really was nobody's and also there was no book about it. Nobody had talked about it touched it. I went by family, went nobody went there and I've been told a number of times and public then use early on that. I hear this. and I really like the birth. But time. I was really angry with you for writing it and putting it sort of putting our businesses street.
The business of intra racism, the business of self hatred and self loathing. Our fines, Gabriel implies that we have with that a lot of people war watching us right now in a lot of states. Don't even know exist because we all just still black folks to them, and they don't know like you fighting still amongst yourselves, based upon a grades of color re wearing a collars, restlessly out, and then no paper bags a paper bag. That's right! You don't even know your latterly financially right and I don't know I don't know about that. There's a paper bag tat not now not anymore. You know in the bodies in the thirties and black night clubs in Louisiana, I never heard of it was a black on night club. They wanted to keep the club to know. Above sir, you, so they could hold a paper bag it too, whoever wins and again to the club in Abuja darkly. lighting. You got an evil, but you wouldn't
a long time ago, but it did thieves into this guy. I think what I found two, as there were a lot of things. One thing: was. I do one of my daughters with us when she was older and came with this message, because she's dark complexion that she's ugly and two too I did tell her how beautiful she I mean the direct message at, and that is hard because I dont know what to do. No Tony says a beautiful thing about the messages that we get about, who we are when a child first walks in the room. Can you talk about that? I said it's interesting to see what a kid walks into the room your child or anybody else's chow do. Did you face lighter or an that's? What they're looking I want my children is to walk in the room when they were little. I looked at them to see if they had
their trousers of their hair was home. These boxes were up, and so you think affection and your deep love is on display. Does your caring for them? It's not when they see you, they see the critical phase. what's wrong now, but then, if you let your, as I tried then on to let your face speak. What's in your heart they walked in the room was glad to see that it's just a small, Is that, if that is what I think is so profound, because that is how you learn that your value is not by what the person is saying to you, but what you feel when I was growing up my grandmother, because she had to work for why family in in Mississippi and there's a photograph. Still have on my desk with only photograph I have. My grandmother is with her holding this white child and when she would come home, you know and whip me chap
chastise me talk to me, you know, and if not the most loving term but every time she would ever talk about those white children pleasure it was ass. She was Pauline. There would be this business, but a glow end side, her about these white children and that was why, when I read what you said about that's a message- When I first got it read, you are better if you are white, as you can be loved more if your white, if I were only white, she would love me. My I've read the book again last night, when I got to the part where the berry pie, fires and and hear her own child is burned and she goes well. Honey and she's lamps are child down on the ground are up in his lap, and it was this again land girls underneath years were concerned about buried. You
on a draft like good grip here on this is your chance now you're busy you messed up my white folks kitchen, you DNS does no good. I feel there is an exaggeration. Did you know now I mean? Is it I will be able to call in demanding that kind of thing. We ve seen that absolutely no time felt it had seen it and felt it. I've I've I've even felt. How are you affected by the book tat, get opened my eyes. I cannot experience what you all have experienced, even though a little bit thought I can remember being selected to angel in that pageant and being told that out, It should be an angel because you have dark eyes and dark hair, and you do now. Angels are blue, eyed and blind say another. Is the hierarchy of race and at the top,
a christian figure and also long hair, blue eyes blonde, and then everything else is down below until you get to animals, so the fight, away from that, the less value you try. Thus you have that what we were taught about earlier. The paper bag does the Creole line the distinction color we took upon ourselves, we took in an ugly man, that's a colleague hunger that they cultivate and add a chapter when you talk about the breed loves in their ugly that went on anything while every sentence is, you know, I read Tony Morrison aligned. Everybody knows, I love took Tony's writing, but I read it to open myself up and there's not a time when I have come. words when I have not enhanced by the language we were talking about, your truly gifted
So I do. I think that now, ok, ok, really be surprised. If you say how now now, I think you are truly gifted and our work. And she works hard at it. I love that. I think that you know we do lots of shows on child raising and how to handle your children. That's one of the most profound things I've ever heard for all you. Moms are worrying about dirty years or is your a calm, the motion thing is which we all felt. When we heard her say it, do your eyes light up when your child walks into the room. When that big, that's profound,
The torch arguing about the by Tony Morrison I've age- I really do think its national treasure. Everybody should read it, don't you think the world would be always come away from a conversation with Tony feeling, a little smarter and more Ireland than we do before we sat down, I think well to in this next part. We talk about the secret, Many incest survivors keep inside here now is part two of our discussion with Toy Morrison. Now the other thing that into Think of me in this discussion. When we were talking about the kinds of people this puts a lot of white women write to me about the both die because of the incident, a lot of young white females who are interested in the book,
because of that not being other level of what's going, they let you know why it is so interesting to me, and I think it might have been the first summer at the boost our. I don't know that I made the connection having victims of sexual abuse as a child. I understood the complicity and vulnerability of the daughter of the God of the daughter of a second time because When many times people say to you, I have said this before and I use if you want to talk about a social system, is that show I've talked about it. This is what is so difficult. This is what this is. The confusion and horror of it is because as if you are a child is I was where you don't feel loved and never felt any love, when it happens to you, as I say to my friends with daughters and and young sons don't think it's going to be
horrible rape, falling unconscious thing, see with Charlie and even of the first time a lot of times it so settlement me. It started with a ninety. Your cousin playing foot cease, you know, and so here thinking he likes you like she likes me. He like for me inside me, following my uncle's around every time they came to visit me. He likes me. He likes me want that, and you want that. it, does not mean you are asking to be right, but you want you want the closest just as Buckler did felt it. out has changed and searching out of some That is what is never spoken about. Train runs vast. With this girl told me she said I was my daddy's girlfriend and I said you mean you loved him- she said course he said. I wouldn't be as hard as it is, if it was only, it was just
hating him for what he did to me. That's hard, but it's simple. The other part. The fact that you would that young hers was infant. I mean it wasn't even now they she was walking I was calculated horror story, but at any rate, it's it's more common. created, as you say, than just somebody abuse somebody abuse. You won't get over it you're. Not. And that is why so many women carry the the guilt of it and the shame of it, because they what did, I haven't knew where they, because sex good, because it go into absolutely challenge to for people who are foster parents, adoptive parents is in our helping a child recover and makes sense of their life This has this pattern of them at the hands of a family member and to be aid,
over a period of time to heal and makes sense, and that feel guilty not feel ashamed or not to feel worthless, and that's a very, very hard. thing in and made very difficult. Let's talk about marine peel, I think the best. they talk about his feet. I read your disk of her from the book. This. This disruptor of season was a new, school named more peel hi, yellow doing child with long Brown, hair braided it Lynch Ropes, the hunger Her back fluffy sweaters the color of lemon drops, tucked into skirts with pleads so orderly? They astounded us brightly coloured, knee socks with white borders. A brown velvet coat, trimmed in white rabbit fur at matching mouth. There was a hint of spring in hers.
well green eyes, something summary and her complexion and a rich autumn ripeness in her walk. She enchanted the entire I guess she did hearing you read it. I forgot about the Brown valiantly bout and rather sweater the color lemon dropsy. How could you not not slightly we're not going to and have all that again. You know the teachers love. I love them in an hour black acquires a child in there was one girl who was very fierce genji. Q Brown Straight hair- she was lack the kid green eyes relay Marie everyone was so nice,
She couldn't saying she didn't have anything really do now, but she was so beautiful and we always look on the aisles would water, because I mean if you could just calm her hair. You know my mother was a poem cry and amend the hare addressed there is, is vulgar badly brown. Her point what I love this line. I love this thy word. Were the girls say in all the time. This is apt to marine peel has said, Uruguay you're, not you, and I'm here and all the time we knew that marine pill was not the enemy and not worthy of such intense hatred. The thing to fear was a thing that made her beautiful and now US Why would the white children also respond to her away the white children loved her because she was closer? looks to them why she had lovely long straight hair. You know curly, she was a high yellow dream child, for she was a version of them little exotic, perhaps
but she was like them as a white person, growing up, were you aware of this? Was this now? Why did you not, as is as wide as its cap tabs my organ donor in the least and that I was there were great age, for we know that it was, it was an opening for poor white person to understand- and I think this is what I meant by an epiphany of of understanding of the rice is the secret, but it's a secret. I need to know it's the hierarchy that Tony Morrison was talking about, that she talks about him at last. The closer you are two white, the better you, and that is what has been adopted in the re side. Failed it for my own personal situation I mean I didn't, I couldn't pass for why? But I was educated
white schools, and when I went among my contemporaries and in the black side of town, I was almost treated like a morning peel, because I listened to the way she talk. They look at that net labour gaze, the Diana when she plays than shallow who does she thinks the thing you wanted to love the marine pilches they're, not the enemy, and there really There, you know, is the thing they aid remains, then adopt a dash say that we should just eliminate the word beautiful, because it's a relic it's the thing after an hour of the day, that is not what virtues and not the accidents at work. the virtues are things you workforce to be forthright to being educated to be in control to be diplomatic, to be healthy, to be grateful to be allowed to have your body part of who you are these things, you could work for, you can get them. They are available to you.
I always say that having children was the most liberating thing that ever happened to me and people say liver Getting I thought having children was confining rested. Nobody, I could be a certain kind of person now that I didn't have to be. In the corporate world where I was working, because my children wanted something from me that nobody else did which I could do. They wanted honesty. They wanted somebody who was capable. Wanted somebody who could deal in emergencies. They wanted somebody who was since humor. They want me they wanted like ten or twelve things. It seemed to me, that were beneficial, and then I could achieve better want me to be sexy they didn't want to be rich. They did want meet all these things out here outside abrasive outside of only now hold ourselves here. So the idea of telling a child. What is really the truth about him or herself? You are good.
you are kind you are generous, you did was it that was a Sure thing you just did, instead of your pretty iraqi yeah What did you want us to know or sea. From the blue sky, I had a couple of ideas: That merged, which was how to value another human being, and that- and I think, apps in other ways ray. It's when you know somebody's raise. That's the least information you you don't know anything. The real information is elsewhere. When I first where the Louis die. The thing that struck me the most is that any body who allowed themselves to be defined outside of their own personal views, for themselves that that is,
a form of insanity and look at what the world has done to women, and I was output, pull it out, shape it up. You know You know. You see young girls now lurching fourteen years, all having put six surgery already mentioned earlier, the image of the colored contacts? Well, Are we going to have to go through colouring Wholesale Antonia and use it to pull the color, wouldn't have to go by some action? Let everybody Ashraf number one question, but why did she have to go in saying there were no exit? Thank you. That's exactly that no exit. There was nothing. There were no adults they went on it shows that when our parents there was this man and enable but who senior you're horrible I'll fix it, but she had no doors open to her.
so she made a door for us, and that was her and said. Land every she is, she talk to a friend. There were, she was accepted she was finally loved and she was finally similarly, we require an oblique down almost where she was looking, because you may, the title is the blue, ass tat? It is, though, I that's ultimately, as not as you as the yearning might hurt me about the book. Was there was not one adult, not one and I want there to be one adult one.
And there really wasn't. I mean there was that no one ever said poor baby, poor ned I'll. No one ever just tell her. We lit and that's all I have seen who are sick, emotionally, sick women mostly and some of them incarcerated. You know They went this way, maybe into some other life. but you know. you see the ravages of an unloved life. Can we talk about that incident in the store? Sure is what happens when he goes to the store is at the first time she realizes for herself
don't touch of work. That is for him to touch her. He drops in I reiterate. That was a sense of everything from really it was one of those people in my neighborhood yeah or you got the store and we will never wanting to touch. I handling always drop the money. He does not see her. This is that there's an innovation issues and exchange. A penny or whatever it isn't the candy, and that there was somebody back there having fun things are yearnings desires are capable of being heard. This never what occurred to him ever on imaginable, as worthy not just of buying very James, but of being part of the land. and that's what so powerful about the bluest. I it's. Why do I feel like? I would have done my job I can retire. I get the whole country to read them up, because I think it
is a way of saying to the world. This is what we're talking about. we'll say, racist, I'm not raises that doesn't exist. Or what are you doing? King about I mean Oprah, look at your life to be able to see through the eyes of the color, but that is the world that so many of- have seen and that's why it so exciting to go into a bookstore borders, which is necessary to me and to see the kola display and I D Mary D will change the world every little change the world is they re. Love deserves to be validated and that's what it really helped me to remember doing with a picture or the the track of Princess Diana. Back from a trip in greeting her children with her arms out and that look on her face for summaries, the last night I thought about, then I thought why could anyone just
I want this. Child may have been the only lonely, Latvia in ten years time or sent here. I read that book and I thought you'd have to write another when nothing to how to write another one, you written so many other great ones, including getting the Nobel Prize to thank you for that issued finest work for opening up. all of us in ways that we never expected There is more to books for those of you who haven't had a chance to read it. Give yourself that gift of the bluest. I do that for yourself. Do that for yourselves, and for your children, as you were saying, if nothing else comes out of the look? If you learn nothing else from the book, you will learn to treat your own children differently. Thank you Tony Morrison for them, was die and for showing us the world through the code, His eyes
over Winfrey and you ve been listening to supersede conversations the pod cast. You can follow super soul on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook if you haven't yet go to apple pod, CAS and subscribe rate and review. This pledge cast join me next week for another supersonic conversation. Thank you for listening.
Transcript generated on 2020-10-05.