“Nobody was going to tell me that it had been that easy. That all I needed was a slogan: “Black is Beautiful.” It wasn’t that easy being a little black girl in this country – it was rough. The psychological tricks you have to play in order to get through – and nobody said how it felt to be that. And you knew better. You knew better inside. You knew you were not the person they were looking at. And to know that and to see what you saw in those other people’s eyes was devastating. Some people made it, some didn’t. And I wanted to explore it myself.” ~ Toni Morrison (1985)
At the Roundtable:
The Bottom of Heaven: “Survivor’s Guilt: Claudia and The Bluest Eye”
WriteBlack: “On the literary descendants of The Bluest Eye”
Color Online (and THNP): “A Closer Look at Cholly Breedlove”
Xavier Passvant: “Human Rights and The Bluest Eye’s Global Reach”
Zetta Elliott: “The Bluest Eye and the Legacy of Colorism”
Evelyn N. Alfred: “Claudia’s Poetry Notebook: Celebrating The Bluest Eye”
Cold Spaghetti: “Poverty, Invisibility, and Dignity: Thoughts on 40 Years of The Bluest Eye”
TBoH is pleased to host a celebration* of the 40th anniversary of Toni Morrison’s first novel,The Bluest Eye, from June 28-July 9. Over the next two weeks, we hope you will engage the fine group of bloggers listed above in an ongoing conversation about this story, a wrenching parable of race, beauty, and self-worth in America that Morrison published in the summer of 1970 as the Civil Rights Movement was being eclipsed by the fire and exuberance of black nationalist pride. (See an original ad for the novel below.)
Is The Bluest Eye still relevant after four decades, does it still have something left to teach us in the Obama era? What moments in the story continue to touch and trouble you as you read? What scenes, characters, and passages have the most lasting impact? How would a little girl like Pecola fare in today’s society? We’d love to heard your thoughts on our posts and if you haven’t read the novel, perhaps now is a good time to start.
*While the term “celebration” here is obviously meant to suggest praise, it doesn’t mean we can’t and shouldn’t be afraid to be critical and put forth dissenting opinions!