Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am is hands down one of the best documentaries of 2019. Many know her as a New York Times best-selling author; some know her as a teacher; some know her as a major figure for the rights of people of color; there is far more to Toni Morrison than most viewers and readers know. This documentary is amazing because unlike so many documentaries, it lets people of color discuss major figure of the world of people of color, It doesn’t talk down to the viewer or make Morrison an inaccessible figure on a pedestal. She is open and honest, letting her history flow and answering so many questions about some of the best writing of our time.
The best way to experience a Toni Morrison book is to listen to hear read it, and the best way to understand Toni Morrison is to hear her tell her story. Her publishing career is brilliant, and evidently she also makes one hell of a carrot cake. Toni’s experiences with Angela Davis, writers of color Toni brought to the publishing party, and the experiences of being a person of color in America are all featured in incredible moments in the documentary that shine through. When talking about her fellow editors, it is so powerful to hear her use phrases like “I knew more than they did and I wasn’t afraid to show it.” Toni Morrison doesn’t guilt viewers who are not of color, but rather asks them to sit at the table and learn to listen with empathy.
The documentary pulls in scholars, contemporaries, and writers who have worked with Toni Morrison or study her. Their powerful descriptions of her work made me want to go back and read or reread every on of Toni Morrison’s works.
Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am is in select theaters Friday June 21, 2019 and should be watched as soon as you are able.