Tar Baby is also a name [...] that white people call black children, black girls, as I recall. At one time, a tar pit was a holy place, at least an important place, because tar was used to build things. It held together things like Moses' little boat and the pyramids. For me, the tar baby came to mean the black woman who can hold things together.
- from an interview with Morrison by Karin L. Badt (1995)