Can't just accept the appearance, have to get the true essence

from Black Star – Thieves in the Night Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

In Morrison’s novel, white standards of beauty (“appearance”) reign superior. Like Morrison, Def calls for us to look deeper.

An image of the Clark doll experiment in the 1930s and 40s, a partial inspiration for Morrison’s novel—black children were asked which doll was prettier and more often choose the white doll.

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