Toni Morrison’s “Song Of Solomon” is like every other novel I have read by her: Proof that she is one of the greatest writers I have ever read. In the same class, in my opinion, as Joyce, Conrad, Dickens, Virginia Wolff, Hemingway, Baldwin, the Bronte sisters, Mann, and Jane Austen. She, like Joyce and Yeats, is able to connect and intertwine the history, mysticism, and spiritual culture of black Americans with a realism is that is both frightening and at other times beautiful.
Years ago, while watching a baseball game on the TV, the announcer said, “that it made him extremely distraught that as an African American that so many of today’s young and brilliant black stars had no idea who Jackie Robinson or Roy Campanella were… That they were oblivious to the struggles and discrimination they encountered and simply took it for granted that what they had now was due them, without acknowledging the sacrifices of past generations.
On one level, Ms. Morrison, without using the baseball analogy takes this issue head on and it is not until the lead character Milkman goes on a journey to discover his past that he becomes a full and inspiring person. History matters to this amazing writer and together with her sublime writing ability she flies high and far, like Solomon, and teaches us profound truths about all of us… Black, white, Indian, Hispanic, Christians, Jews, Muslims, etc. Etc.
“Song of Solomon” is writing at its very best and Ms. Morrison is a treasure whose works and brilliance will last forever and as the poet Yeats writes, “nor time, nor place nor art will move it.”