Watch Toni Morrison Beautifully Shut Down A Reporter's Tone-Deaf Question About Why She Didn't Write 'Substantially' About White People

Uncensored, @OrangePaulp/Twitter

Celebrated African American novelist and Nobel laureate Toni Morrison died on Monday at Montefiore Medical Center in New York.

She was 88.

The former professor emeritus at Princeton University contributed such powerful novels centering on the black condition and struggles depicted in award-winning books like Sula and Beloved.

While the literary world is in mourning over the loss of a national treasure, her words stay with us.

A video from a 1998 interview in which Morrison called out her interviewer, journalist Jana Wendt, for a racist question is now going viral.

Morrison had always been vocal about racism, and the interview with Wendt was a prime example of her commitment.

During the program "Toni Morrison: Uncensored," the journalist asked the author if she would ever deviate from her "safe space" for her art to "change and write books that would incorporate White lives...in a substantial way."

The author responded:

"You can't understand how powerfully racist that question is, can you?"

You can watch the full interview below.

Toni Morrison interview www.youtube.com

Morrison added that a similar question could never be asked of a white author.

"You could never ask a White author, 'When are you going to write about Black people?' Whether he did or not, or she did or not. Even the inquiry comes from a position of being in the center.'"

She added:

"It's inconceivable that where I already am is the mainstream."

Her powerful words from the past resonate now more than ever.

Admirers of her work expressed their reverence for one of the most influential writers of our time.

Wendt tried to save face by calling her line of inquiry pertinent to the author's narrative and continued by adding another spin.

"Whether you want to alter the parameters of it, whether you see any benefit in doing that or will you clearly see disadvantages in doing it from your own point of view?"

Morrison compared being an African American writer to being a "Russian writer that writes about Russia in Russian for Russians."

"The fact that it gets translated and read by other people is a benefit, it's a plus. But he's not obliged to ever consider writing about French people, or Americans, or anybody."

People couldn't help but notice Wendt's awkward attempt at backpedaling and commented on Morrison's composed reaction with unequivocal profundity and grace.

Morrison brought Black literature into the mainstream starting with her first book The Bluest Eye in 1970.

It was a short story developed as part of an informal literary group that shared their writings at Howard University and was about a young Black girl longing to have blue eyes.

Her second novel Sula, about the friendship between two Black women, was published in 1973 and was nominated for the National Book Award two years later.

Perhaps her most compelling and famous novel is Beloved, based on the real-life tragedy of an enslaved African-American woman who fled and was recaptured by slave hunters.

Beloved remained a best seller for 25 weeks but never won the prestigious National Book Award or the National Book Critics Circle Award, a snub that was protested by 48 Black critics and writers including Maya Angelou.

Eventually, Beloved won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, which honors written works for their contribution to the understanding of racism and diversity.

In addition to being an essayist, editor, and writer, Morrison also held a political voice.

She wrote an essay for the November 21, 2016 issue of the New Yorker called "Mourning For Whiteness," in which she said White voters who are afraid of losing their privilege afforded to them by race caused them to elect Donald Trump as President.

Here are some excerpts.

"Under slave laws, the necessity for color rankings was obvious, but in America today, post-civil-rights legislation, White people's conviction of their natural superiority is being lost. Rapidly lost."
"There are 'people of color' everywhere, threatening to erase this long-understood definition of America."
"In order to limit the possibility of this untenable change, and restore whiteness to its former status as a marker of national identity, a number of White Americans are sacrificing themselves."
"They have begun to do things they clearly don't really want to be doing, and, to do so, they are (1) abandoning their sense of human dignity and (2) risking the appearance of cowardice."

May she rest in power.

Toni Morrison's wisdom is available in The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations, available here.

Jinxy Productions via Getty images@PassionPopSoc/Twitter

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The Telegraph/YouTube

The wizarding world is now a reality.

Sort of.

A Canadian company has created a real life invisibility cloak, and it's mind-blowing to see in action.

The company, HyperStealth Biotechnology Corp., calls its creation "Quantum Stealth."

See it in action here:

'Invisibility cloak' that could hide tanks and troops looks closer to reality www.youtube.com

Describing themselves on their website as "Leaders in Camouflage, Concealment, and Deception", HyperStealth has patents pending on their magical invention.

The "invisibility shield" is made of an inexpensive, paper thin material that bends light to make objects appear to be invisible. The company boasts that it would be able to hide people, vehicles, and even buildings.

Humans hidden by Quantum Stealth would also be undetectable to heat-sensing cameras.

Meet the Canadian who created a real-life invisibility shield youtu.be

Guy Cramer, the CEO of HyperStealth and the shield's inventor explained to CTV News:

"This is the same material that you see in 3D books and DVD covers and movie posters where by moving side to side you get a 3D image. We're using the same material and we've removed the picture from behind it to get that effect."

The material was never meant to for public use, but Cramer hopes that his invention will be helpful to Canada's military allies, including the United States.

Since releasing video demonstrations of the "invisibility cloak", military personnel have become interested in learning more about it.

Reception to the prototype, initially demonstrated to militaries in 2011, was lukewarm. But HyperStealth's recent promotional materials have since caught the attention of higher ups.

Cramer has expressed surprise about the public's interest in "Quantum Stealth" on Twitter.

Cramer admitted to CTV that he has reservations about how the material can be used:

"The intention was to keep it out of the public and to allow the military to use it sparingly or bury it. My concern is the criminal element using this at some point in the future and non-allied countries using it against our soldiers out there."

Fans of the Harry Potter series are comparing "Quantum Stealth" to Harry's Invisibility Cloak.

Featured in both the book and movies, Harry's Invisibility Cloak is a made from a magical fabric that he and his friends wear to appear invisible, usually to hide from Hogwarts' staff.


Twitter is in awe of the invention's unbelievable capabilities.

Though some people share Cramer's worries about it falling into the wrong hands and its use in warfare.

Despite the public's excitement and concerns, Cramer doubts that it will ever be available for civilian use.

When addressing "Quantum Stealth's availability to the general public, he wrote on the HyperStealth website:

"Not in the near future unless the Military decided to release the technology and I don't anticipate that will happen anytime soon."

If you're not up on your Potterdom lore (or just need a new set after reading your first ones to tatters) the Harry Potter Books 1-7 Special Edition Boxed Set is available here.

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