Toni Morrison, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature, passed away at age 88 on Monday, Aug. 5. Morrison was known for her portrayal of African American everyday life. She wrote novels including “Tar Baby,” “Paradise” and “Song of Solomon.” Her novel, “Beloved” won thePulitzer Prize in 1988.It was turned into a movie, which starred Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover and Thandie Newton that same year.
Morrison also wrote children’s literature with Slade Morrison, her son who passed in 2010. Those titles included, “The Book of Mean People,” “The Big Box,” and “Peeny Butter Fudge.”
Morrison, who graduated from Howard University and Cornell University, was born in Ohio in 1931. A former instructor at Howard and Texas Southern, she became an editor at Random House where she worked tirelessly to bring African American literature to the masses. She later took up the pen, herself and gained success with her first novel, “The Bluest Eye.” Sixteen other works of fiction and non-fiction, numerous children’s books and two plays would follow. And, in 2012, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.
Morrison wrote about everything from the Impeachment of President Bill Clinton to the election of President Donald Trump and his White Nationalist supporters.
Shonda Rhimes, creator of “How to Get Away with Murder” and “Scandal,” wrote in a tweet, “She made me understand ‘writer’ was a fine profession. I grew up wanting to be only her. Dinner with her was a night I will never forget. Rest, Queen.”
President Barack Obama wrote in a tweet, “Toni Morrison was a national treasure, as good a storyteller, as captivating in person as she was on the page. Her writing was a beautiful, meaningful challenge to our conscience and our moral imagination. What a gift to breathe the same air as her, if only for a while.”