I first learned about Toni Morrison by way of Hip Hop.
Growing up in Germany, we never learned about black writers and intellectuals in school, so Hip Hop, being accessible, became my teacher.
I remember downloading "Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star" on Limewire.
I must have been 13 or 14 years old and was wholly immersed in this album. I was hooked on the beats, addicted to their rhymes, and soaked in all the knowledge. On "Astronomy (8th light)", Yasiin basically described my initial thoughts and feelings towards the record, to me it was "commonplace and different/ intimate and distant, fresher than an infant". The sonic expressions of these cats from Brooklyn really resonated with me. "Thieves in the Night" is one of my favorite rap tracks, period. Its verses introduced me to Toni Morrison, which made me question "why we follow the law of the bluest eye" and really showed that we need to get rid of colonial bondages. Black people's perception of self is fucked and distorted if we continue to assess our thoughts and bodies through the gaze of whiteness. It held me back from necessary growth. We gotta stick together. Don't get me wrong, all my skinfolk ain't kinfolk. I learned that early on, but I hope that you, dear beautiful human being reading this long-ass caption, are in a place that allows you to create community with the people you adore and love the most. I have a suggestion: start reading "The Bluest Eye" together. We should not hide, we gotta show up in groups.
Because they want us to make us feel smaller, to hide from life.
Stay gold my G’s,
P.S.: If you haven't already, listen to the record as mentioned above. It will touch your soul.