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Toni MorrisonMemory and Meaning$
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Adrienne Lanier Seward and Justine Tally

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781628460193

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2015

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628460193.001.0001

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An Elegy for the African American Community, or The Unintended Consequences of Desegregation/Integration

(p.93) love
Toni Morrison

Lucille P. Fultz

University Press of Mississippi

African Americans coming of age after the civil rights movement gained access to opportunities previously denied former generations. But the opportunities available to the “Joshua generation” came at an enormous price. While some African Americans foresaw the losses to black enterprises and community, few were willing to barter first class citizenship and the eradication of racial barriers for personal wealth and “racial” solidarity. In Love, Toni Morrison explores this paradox of integration, raising some telling questions about a unitary vision within the African American community and undermining the notion that Black people were ever of one mind. Morrison never waivers in her conviction that African Americans share a common heritage as victims of racism. But she is also keen to note that African Americans’ responses to white racism have varied across and within the class spectrum and that many Blacks embraced or rejected integration based upon personal and self-serving interests. (150 words)

Keywords:   Love, “The Joshua Generation”, Civil Rights Movement, integration, desegregation, racism

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