I am intrigued by the book’s title, especially in relation to Morrison’s epigraph, one portion of which quotes Romans 9:25. Let me repeat that verse here, along with a little bit of its wider context:
“what if he has done so in order to make known the riches of his glory for the objects of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory — including us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? As indeed he says in Hosea,
‘Those who were not my people I will call “my people”,
and her who was not beloved I will call “beloved”. ’
‘And in the very place where it was said to them, “You are not my people”,
there they shall be called children of the living God.’ ”
In its original context, these verses are talking about the incorporation of Gentiles into the people of God along with Jews. Taking this with the other portion of Morrison’s epigraph – Sixty Million and more – is instructive. The African American race is also incorporated into the people of God, even in the face of oppressors who deny their humanity. Despite their slavery, “they shall be called children of the living God.” Beloved, then, is more than just an individual; she is representative of the entire black race.