Malcolm X said, “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” Toni Morrison On The Media expounds on this statement in What Moves At The Margins when she says:
“How long can news function as a palliative for despair and counter space for products? It is so frustrating and sad to open a newspaper and find the news literally at the edges, like the embroidered hem of the real subject – advertisement. The media spectacle must not continue to direct its attention to the manufacture of consent, rather than debate with more than two sides, to the reinforcement of untruths, and a review of what else there is to buy. Succumbing to the media can blur vision, resisting them can do the same”
Throughout Toni Morrison’s work she questions, and challenges, us to embrace the stranger and close the distance between one another. Demanding more responsibility from the artists, a responsibility she always assumed, to dive into their spirits and reveal the light, beauty, and wisdom that is necessary to live in communion with other people. We are connected and everyone is a reflection of all the emotions happening inside us.
We can only live this truth if we can face ourselves. And only through this can we make the world a little more human. The media outlets in our nation value advertising over the expansion of the human spirit. These outlets exploit our fears continually shrinking our image of the world.Constricted until we can no longer smile at our neighbor. News Outlets, Blogs, Podcasts, and Talk Shows seem to prioritize maintaining fanbases. Rather than contributing to the knowledge that will aid us when all the noise is finally cut off. Toni Morrison goes deeper into the necessity of seeing each other as ourselves saying:
“It took some time for me to understand my unreasonable claims on that fisherwoman. To understand that I was longing for and missing some aspect of myself, and that there are no strangers. There are only versions of ourselves, many of which we have not embraced, most of which we wish to protect ourselves from. For the stranger is not foreign, she is random; not alien but remembered; and it is the randomness of the encounter with our already known–although unacknowledged–selves that summons a ripple of alarm. That makes us reject the figure and the emotions it provokes–especially when these emotions are profound. It is also what makes us want to own, govern, and administrate the Other. To romance her, if we can, back into our own mirrors. In either instance (of alarm or false reverence), we deny her personhood, the specific individuality we insist upon for ourselves.”
What Moves at the Margin collects three decades of Toni Morrison’s writings about her work, her life, literature, and American society every essay exemplifies her literary reputation. What moves at the Margin brings us closer to one another. She challenged writers to become revolutionaries saying, “[W]e don’t need any more writers as solitary heroes. We need a heroic writers’ movement—assertive, militant, pugnacious.” Continue reading Toni Morrison On Trusting Love.