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Jeffrey B. Perry Blog

Toni Morrison on Theodore W. Allen

On August 19, 2009, long-time activist, Eva Pellegrini wrote to me:

Ever since I heard Toni Morrison talk about her book "A Mercy"  I have wondered if she had read Ted [Allen].  Tonight I went to an event celebrating the paperback edition.  I took her book up for a signing and asked if she had used Ted's book and her response was, " Yes he wrote two volumes and I read them and re-read them."  It was exhilarating.


Today (August 7, 2019) on "Democracy Now" in the attached video from 29:10 to 30:50 Toni Morrison explains:


TONI MORRISON: The interesting thing is that they established these laws. And the laws were very, very interesting. They said things like any — no blacks shall be allowed to carry a weapon, ever, for any circumstances. OK. Second, any white can maim or kill any black for any reason, without being charged.

Now, you see what that did to the indentured servants who were white: Now they're better, freer, more powerful. They're in the same situation. They're still enslaved. But they're not — but they can carry weapons, and they can beat up black slaves without punishment. So they have this little margin of status, nothing else. Nothing else but that little margin.

And that little margin has worked its way through this country since then. That was in the 17th century. And you know the Southern strategy. You know all these things in which you flag race and racism as a cause or even a goal. And racism is not a goal. It's a path. It's just a route to power and money. That's what it is. That's what it's for, whether it's via war or segregation or what have you. The thing itself is just a manipulation and a tool. And its purpose is what I just described that went on after the Bacon Rebellion.


Thanks to Sharon K. Tipton for info on this video -- Toni Morrison

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