I am working on a presentation about Toni Morrison’s novel The Bluest Eye for the upcoming event Cleveland in Print: The History and Literature of Northeast Ohio. These two sentences, from the section where Claudia, Frieda and Pecola traipse across town to Mrs. Breedlove’s workplace, always get me:
“The orange-patched sky of the steel-mill section never reached this part of town. This sky was always blue.”
They say so much about the role that segregation plays in circumscribing lives, particularly those of African-Americans who’d moved north for better opportunities with the Great Migration. My talk is entitled “The Psychic Geography of The Bluest Eye,” and I’m planning to discuss how Morrison’s depictions of setting and place show the psychological impacts of racism.