P / P Essay: Toni Morrison’s Self-Regard and Women’s History Month


Photo Credit: forgotten

Hmm, The Source of Self-Regard. With respect to my trans and female identified sisters, I was born a girl child. My DNA mixed and combined from my parent’s connection birthed body. It just happened to be what Earthlings call “a girl.”

I have no desire to go on about what a woman is or how I own this body that was circumstantially delivered into this realm in Baltimore City in 1986. I am more concerned with my spirit. I am more interested in my consciousness. My body will continue to change just as it has since the day I was born.

Self-regard, what Merriam-Webster describes as the “consideration of oneself or one’s own interests…” I personally like google’s description, “regard or consideration for oneself; self-respect,” is something I don’t think about consciously, but in my subconscious it defines the way I walk, stand, speak, interact and the decisions I make. I mean, there are many different circumstances that determine that, but I was inspired just by seeing the title of your new book.


Today is the first day of Women’s History Month. This history or Herstory of again, a circumstantial body defined by beings long ago is recognized, if not celebrated today beginning today and throughout the month of March. Am I proud to be a woman? I don’t know. Like I mentioned, I don’t think about it much. It does not define me, but our stories, particularly Black women’s stories fascinate, excite and inspire me.

The writer, Ms. Toni Morrison is a Black woman who shows me that I can be whatever I want to be. I chose to be a writer long ago, when I was about 5 years old. It took an effort to chose to continue to do it every single day for most of my life. Nonetheless, Ms. Morrison’s existence taught me to write like an individual. I am not an expert on all of her books. I am sure there are probably thousands, if not millions who can go on and on about her volumes of culturally significant literary contributions. But all I need, personally is her existence. All I ever needed was for her to born to write books, starting from her first literary offering, The Bluest Eye (1970, Penguin Random House) to your most recent book The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations (2019, Penguin Random House).

I needed to just see those words, the title, to remind me not to disassociate with myself. Ms. Morrison’s ability to continue on writing, remembering and loving shows me that every new day provides an opportunity to do what I please, and hopefully enjoy it.

Toni Morrison’s The Source of Self-Regard gives life. That’s not slang. That’s real. Slang is real, but my intention is literal.



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