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Date

5-18-2020

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I argue that the United States Department of Labor's Office of Policy Planning and Research report The Negro Family: The Case for National Action (The Moynihan Report) shapes Toni Morrison's career as she tries to undue the misnomers about the black family reported by Patrick Moynihan. Toni Morrison accepted this challenge by using her novels to explain how the key factors that Moynihan glossed over impact the black family more than anything his report proposed. Through the span of Morrison's career, she repeatedly rejects The Moynihan Report's crass and careless argument. This paper examines how Morrison's career repeatedly dismissed the assertions of "The Moynihan Report" and instead offered a more complicated, complex, and complete evaluation of the black family; especially in regard to the central themes for a need of representation and of community in her novels. Due to Morrison's recent death, this research is relevant since her legacy as a social activist and novelist will be debated in the coming decade. Research that address Morrison's work in regard to Moynihan tends to focus singularly on one of her early works or Beloved; however, this paper spans her entire career with special emphasis on The Bluest Eye, Beloved, and Home.

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May 18th, 12:00 AM

Morrison v. Moynihan: A Career Spent Dismissing the Moynihan Report

I argue that the United States Department of Labor's Office of Policy Planning and Research report The Negro Family: The Case for National Action (The Moynihan Report) shapes Toni Morrison's career as she tries to undue the misnomers about the black family reported by Patrick Moynihan. Toni Morrison accepted this challenge by using her novels to explain how the key factors that Moynihan glossed over impact the black family more than anything his report proposed. Through the span of Morrison's career, she repeatedly rejects The Moynihan Report's crass and careless argument. This paper examines how Morrison's career repeatedly dismissed the assertions of "The Moynihan Report" and instead offered a more complicated, complex, and complete evaluation of the black family; especially in regard to the central themes for a need of representation and of community in her novels. Due to Morrison's recent death, this research is relevant since her legacy as a social activist and novelist will be debated in the coming decade. Research that address Morrison's work in regard to Moynihan tends to focus singularly on one of her early works or Beloved; however, this paper spans her entire career with special emphasis on The Bluest Eye, Beloved, and Home.