Toni Morrison appeared on The Colbert Report on Wednesday night to talk about her decades-long career, and casually drop some jewels on what racism really is—because she is Toni Morrison and we expect nothing less than the most eloquent way to break down a most heinous social agreement.
“There is no such things as race,” said Morrison. “Racism is a construct; a social construct. And it has benefits. Money can be made off of it. People who don’t like themselves can feel better because of it. It can describe certain kinds of behavior that are wrong or misleading. So [racism] has a social function. But race can only be defined as a human being.”
The Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize and Presidential Medal of Freedom also revealed that she’d only recently read her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Beloved, for the first time. When Colbert asked her what she thought of it, Morrison replied, “It’s really good!”
“I never read them after I finish them,” she said of her books. She also reiterated her stance not wanting to be labeled an African-American writer, but “an American writer.”