Written By: Sister Azanyah Levi

“It was then and later too that the Nephilum appeared on earth, when the divine beings cohabitated with the daughters of men, who bore them offspring. They were the heroes of old, the men of renown.” “ And YAH said to Noah I have decided to put an end to all flesh for the earth is filled with lawlessness because of them.” Genesis 6:4,13

 

There’s not much written in the scriptures about the children of Yisrael in this generation, not long out of slavery, who despite great promises of redemption decide to serve the gods of this world, and their Wicked Seed who offer riches and fame always with this promise to the believer, who ultimately pays with his or her soul, that their name will live on eternally. Surely it was in such fulfillment that this posthumous documentary praising Toni Morrison pictured above giving the one-eyed homage to the gods of this world was made. 

When I think of Toni Morrison I can’t help but remember myself when the two of us were much alike, both young women (descendants of the American slaves) at Howard University, praying someone one day would think enough of our work to publish it and all young writers have dreams of acclaim.  Though I knew before then, at the ripe old age of thirteen that I would live a writing life it wasn’t until I read the Bluest Eye for the first time that I had the courage to announce to my mother ( with the certitude of a true believer) that I would be a famous writer or nothing at all. My mother having raised two older daughters (though far less dramatic, young women nonetheless) chuckled but ultimately gave me an affirming nod–a Writer I would be.  It would make sense too that I would attend Howard University, not because it was Toni Morrison’s Alma Mater but rather a fine choice for a burgeoning woman aspiring to anything that required higher education. Even now I remember my mother smiling so proud the day she left me at my dorm and the preceding years I spent hours on end reading Toni Morrison’s work, trying to no avail, to incorporate her dense writing style into mine; her lyrical sentences that poured out like honey–thick, layered and oozing with sweetness as organic and individual (I would later understand) as the Most High made all HIS seed.  Of course there was Alice Walker too, who was just as noteworthy but even as a young woman in the late 80’s, I thought her monolithic portrait of “black” men  in the novel the Color Purple as only brutal and the female response more than taboo but wreaked betrayal to our people. And there were other “black” women writers whose careers I would’ve easily settled, such as Gwendolyn Brooks, Lucille Clifton and Rita Dove…however none to me was as the Great Toni Morrison.  And never could anyone have convinced me then that I would now stand so diametrically opposed, that the Most High YAH would’ve rescued me from all I wanted to be, preventing me from making anymore contracts with death toward acclaim, fame, money or otherwise for as it was written so long ago:  “…there is no mustering out from that war; wickedness is powerless to save its owner.”  Ecclesiastes 8:8 JPS

So much so that even now at fifty-three, and my life taking on such a distinctly different path (wholly Awakened by the Mercy of the Most High YAH with the singular quest of not only atoning for my sins but the sins of my ancestors as commanded in Deut 30:1-11) I still found myself watching this documentary of Morrison’s life and times, shocked by the one-eye symbol she made in the pic above even though almost all celebrities are photographed in such a pose, even though she won a Pulitzer Prize and even more in 1993 the Nobel Prize for Literature–sure signs that the gods of this world and their seed were more than pleased with her works. And this of course brings me to the first of the three parts of this documentary I find worthy of noting: only five years before Toni Morrison won the Nobel Prize, forty eight “black” writers and critics including James Baldwin and June Jordan signed a petition protesting the fact that she hadn’t even won the National Book Award.