"Jim seems unassertive, loving, irrational, passionate, dependent, inarticulate (except for the ‘talks’ he and Huck have, long sweet talks we are not privy to—but what did you talk about, Huck?)." -Toni Morrison, Playing in the Dark
"No sooner had Huckleberry Finn begun to achieve hypercanonization, in part because it could so effectively serve as an icon of civil rights consciousness, than it also began to be challenged in the schools by African Americans— they very people on whose behalf, it was imagined, the book was functioning. If civil rights means anything, shouldn’t it mean that African Americans ought to have a real voice in public definitions of what counts as a model of enlightened race relations?” -Jonathan Arac, Huckleberry Finn As Idol and Target
"I became conscious, at first dimly, and then later on with increasing clarity and conviction, of a vast, muddied pool of human life in America. It was as though I had put on a pair of spectacles whose power was that of an x-ray enabling me to see deeper into the lives of men. Whenever I picked up a newspaper, I’d no longer feel that I was reading of the doings of whites alone (Negroes are rarely mentioned in the press unless they’ve committed some crime!), but of a complex struggle for life going on in my country, a struggle in which I was involved. I sensed, too, that the Southern scheme of oppression was but an appendage of a far vaster and in many respects more ruthless and impersonal commodity-profit machine." -Richard Wright, "How ‘Bigger’ Was Born"
"I had written a book of short stories which was published under the title of Uncle Tom’s Children. When the reviews of that book began to appear, I realized that I had made an awfully naive mistake. I found that I had written a book which even bankers’ daughters could read and weep over and feel good about.” -Richard Wright, “How ‘Bigger’ Was Born”