Toni Morrison's essay removed the lens that Naylor was trying to create. When reading Morrison's essay, I could not help but continuously relate everything that she was mentioning to the Naylor novel. And although it seems that Morrison’s article was supposed to enhance Naylor’s book, it made the novel seem somewhat common and a repeat of novels written by other African American authors.
For example, the introduction to The Women of Brewster Place discusses how the area was made. It had nothing to do with the people and what they wanted. The alderman and the councilman, no members of the town, created the little block area. The citizens did not have ownership of the town. This reflects perfectly in Morrison’s essay. African-Americans have no ownership of the areas that they are living in. They do not remark about the area that they live in the same way that others might, because they don’t feel like the city is theirs.
The ancestor is another example of how Morrison’s essay perfectly reflects Naylor’s work. The presence of Ben and especially Mattie prove that the ancestor in the story makes the story more complete. As each vignette in Naylor’s Women of Brewster Place holds a special section for Mattie, so do many novels written by African-American authors, according to Morrison. This makes Naylor seem very uncreative and overdone; she seems to be walking in the footsteps of those who came before her, not making her own mark in the world of literature, especially Africna American literature.
Although very well written and with beautiful stylistic prose, there was nothing out of the ordinary with Naylor’s plot. And it is proven through Morrison’s essay, that there really is very little that Naylor writes that no other author has written before. It seemed that Naylor could be read elsewhere, with only a different title and by another author.