Ruth breastfeeds Milkman to fulfill her own sexual desires:
“Her passions were narrow but deep. Long deprived of sex, long
dependent on self-manipulation…she saw her son’s imminent death as the
annihilation of the last occasion she had been made love to”
It's scandalous b/c Milkman is way too old:
This can be seen when Ruth stares ...
In another part of that same book (I cannot find the page number in Google books), the author says this speech was at Portland University.
"Toni Morrison, one of the foremost storytellers of my lifetime, captured the futility of 'celebrating' black history, with a powerful speech in 1975. 'It's important to know ... the very serious function of racism, ...
There's certainly some evidence that characters' names in Love were chosen carefully:
the names Vida and Vivian both refer to life, and these characters (Romen's grandmother and Junior's mother) are in some sense the people who gave life to Romen and Junior;
Roman's surname Gibbons could be a reference to the classical historian Edward Gibbon, ...