Around the latter half of the 1960’s, in the academic circles around the world, and especially in the American academy, race and ethnicity came to the forefront as a new and important approach to the study of literature. Theorists belonging to all sorts of ethnic minority groups – Asian, African, Hispanic, etc. – became actively concerned with identity problems and with representing the white majority’s others. They became involved with the way in which the life of ethnic minorities was represented in a society dominated for centuries by white interests and cultural institutions. They were among the first to realize that race was a social and cultural construct rather than a biological one. The new scholarship on race laid the foundations of a new and productive direction in literary and cultural studies. How this set of ideas is reflected in Toni Morrison’s non-fiction and the way American dominant white culture defines itself in relation to a centuries old Africanist presence are the subject-matters of this paper.