The Origin of Others by Toni Morrison foreword by Ta-Nehisi Coates was born thanks to a series of talks that the author delivered at Harvard University two years ago.
Morrison picked up a theme still unresolved in the USA, the racial one presenting us in these pages a prospect of who the Other is and why he/she is painted like that.
It's a strong vision the one of Toni Morrison. A sad one.
The American society has been unable to consider for a long time black people as people.
Yes, you read well: as people.
White people didn't consider black people as people for a long time.
During the Secession War and also later black people were seen as beasts, degradating them and their dignity at a maximum level.
The situation between these two groups has been critical from the beginning and the reason was that at first black people were brought to the USA for a story of...slavery, not for setting them free from some enemies, for saving them, so they couldn't have rights, they couldn't learn to write, to read, they didn't have any rights, they couldn't be humans under many aspects.
Not just black people were discriminated. Italians and Russians didn't experience at first great moments although later these ethnic groups discovered a sort of rehabilitation.
Analysis by Morrison involves literature like Uncle Tom's Cabin, politically correct so that it could be read by white people, and some books by Hemingway and Faulkner, both unable to treat black people as the white ones.
Restrictions lived by black people have been immense, if we think that they couldn't enter in white churches, bars, cafés where white people spent time and same it was for schools, universities.
So these two worlds, the white and the black one grew up and matured separately, to my point of view without maybe a honest confrontation, because the white people generated a certain answer: another life with churches created by black people for black people, schools for black people and so on.
What Morrison tried to do at first when she decided to become a writer was to attract black people readers promoting also literature written by black authors.
Reading for black community has never been a great priority and so Morrison tried at first with a scrapbook plenty of pictures, a lot of imagines and a visual attracting story of American black people.
This book, The Origin of Others is very little. Bring it with you in your tote bag, read it in the metro or in the bus, it's apparently light, but dense of concepts.
It's a sufferance when we treat a topic like this one.
The Others don't exist, we are only a race, we are only a world with many human beings.
A world with multiform cultures, diversifications, but it's thanks to this that we appreciate the colored kaleidoscope of life that multiculturalism brings with it and where it is beautiful to immerse ourselves.
What I hope is that in a not too distant day I will read a book called: "The Origin of Us."
I thank Harvard University Press for the physical copy of this book.
Anna Maria Polidori