The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations – Toni Morrison
One in a series of reviews contributed by Chancellor Dwight C. Watson
I started this book this summer and was savoring every chapter as I read one chapter per day. On the day Toni Morrison passed away I was reading her commentary about her book, Sula. Ms. Morrison characterized Sula as “a New World Black and a New World Woman extracting choices from choicelessness, responding inventively to found things, modern, out-of-the-house, outlawed, unpolicing, uncontained, and uncontainable. And dangerously female; this is a special kind of Black woman – one with choices” (188). I marveled at the language and the powerful capturing of Sula and it was obvious to me that this should be the epitaph for Ms. Morrison. She was unflinching is her pursuit of clarity, her uncensored exploration of race, and her enduring impact as she described her lived experiences and the historical cadence of American history. Prior to the most recent presidential election, Ms. Morrison (2015) stated: “This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is not time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language, that is how civilizations heal.” The Source of Self-Regard was a healing tome for me. It was the right book, at the right time, and I read it in the right place as I transitioned to UW-Whitewater. What a wonderful way to start a magnificent journey with a handbook, a captured testament, from one of America’s most profound sages.