"A friend introduced me to Middleton (Spike) Harris [a
retired city employee], who became the chief author of the project.
His collection of black memorabilia is extensive and his passion
for the subject as intense as it is thorough. . . . His friend
Morris Levitt, a retired public-school teacher and amateur
black sports enthusiast, joined Harris on the project. So did
Roger Furman, an actor and director of New York's black New
Heritage Repertory Theater. Finally, Ernest Smith [a
collector of black memorabilia since he was fourteen] also joined.
. . . All of these men have one thing in common: an intense love
for black expression and a zest wholly free of academic
careerism."-Toni Morrison, in "Rediscovering Black History,"
The New York Times
Toni Morrison was the author of award-winning works of fiction, nonfiction, and children's literature. Her fifth novel, Beloved, earned her the Pulitzer Prize in 1998. She received the National Book Critics Circle Award and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. She died in August 2019.
"An incredible testament to the strength, character, and endurance
of a people . . . Especially in these historic times, I can think
of no better way to celebrate African American achievement than
through a retrospective look at our history-painful and
pleasurable-our shared experiences and our successes. This is a
book no American-black or white-can afford to ignore."-Cornel
"A terrible error grew as humans spread out around the globe from our common ancestors in Southern Africa: Race became a source of division and hierarchy instead of the minor adaptation to climate it truly was. The Black Book records some of the everyday suffering and wisdom that this false hierarchy has caused. There is not a member of the human family on earth who cannot learn from it."-Gloria Steinem
"The Black Book is an important document of American history that defines a people's strength, hope, and perseverance. By honoring the past, Toni Morrison's remarkable book sheds light on the present, and shows the unlimited potential for the future."-Gay Talese
"Terrific, terrific, terrific . . . Tell the truth and shame the devil."-Melvin Van Peebles
"I first read The Black Book as a young man, sneaking it out of my dad's library. It is appropriate that it should be returned to the world of publishing as we consider Morrison's legacy, and the many dimensions of the much deserved monument we now seek to erect in her honor."-Ta-Nehisi Coates
"I remember first coming across this book as a child and understanding even then that I was holding in my hands a majestic miracle that managed to beautifully, painfully, and accurately convey both the tragedy and the triumph of four hundred years of the black experience. I am so grateful that a new generation will get the opportunity to feel what I felt."-Nikole Hannah-Jones