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Monday, January 28, 2008

Toni Morrison Endorses Obama

Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison -- who famously declared Bill Clinton to be the nation's "first black president" in a 1998 essay -- today endorsed Barack Obama for president. In a letter to Obama she writes, "this opportunity for a national evolution (even revolution) will not come again soon, and I am convinced you are the person to capture it."

Morrison writes of her admiration for Hillary Clinton but says she "cared little for her gender as a source of my admiration".

"Nor do I care very much for your race[s]," Morrison continues to Obama, "I would not support you if that was all you had to offer or because it might make me 'proud.' "


"In thinking carefully about the strengths of the candidates, I stunned myself when I came to the following conclusion: that in addition to keen intelligence, integrity and a rare authenticity, you exhibit something that has nothing to do with age, experience, race or gender and something I don't see in other candidates. That something is a creative imagination which coupled with brilliance equals wisdom.

"Our future is ripe, outrageously rich in its possibilities. Yet unleashing the glory of that future will require a difficult labor, and some may be so frightened of its birth they will refuse to abandon their nostalgia for the womb.

"There have been a few prescient leaders in our past, but you are the man for this time," she concludes.


In an October 1998 essay in The New Yorker, Morrison wrote: "Years ago, in the middle of the Whitewater investigation, one heard the first murmurs: white skin notwithstanding, this is our first black president. Blacker than any actual person who could ever be elected in our children's lifetime."

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