Ivanka Trump used a Toni Morrison quote about slavery to describe working women's struggles -- and people are furious

Ivanka Trump’s new book, “Women Who Work,” features quotes from a wide variety of sources, including some who are less than thrilled about being included. 

The book has been criticised for relying on generic advice for female professionals and featuring dozens of out-of-context quotes intended to be inspirational. 

Perhaps none of the quotes are as out of place as one from Toni Morrison about the brutal psychological impact of slavery. Trump juxtaposed the quote with a description of the challenges working women face when it comes to time management. 

Here’s the Toni Morrison quote that appears in Trump’s book:

“Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another.” 

In Morrison’s novel “Beloved,” the quote describes the psychological challenges that former slaves faced after escaping to the North as they learn what it means to make independent decisions and have freedom of choice. 

However, as NPR’s Annalisa Quinn noted in her review of “Women Who Work,” Trump strips the quote of its context and instead inserts it into a chapter on time management.

“Are you a slave to your time or the master of it?” Trump writes. “Despite your best intentions, it’s easy to be reactive and get caught up in returning calls, attending meetings, answering emails.” 

Online, some readers took issue with the use of Morrison’s quote.

Morrison’s quote is far from the only one Trump included in her book that lacked context or consent of the people being quoted.

Women including conservationist Jane Goodall and Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani‏ have pushed back against their inclusion in the book. 


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