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“Beloved” By Fans: Nobel Prize Winner Toni Morrison Dead at 88




by G. Brown

“Beloved”, “Song of Solomon”, “God Help the Child” …author Toni Morrison wrote the words that both conveyed the harshness of reality and permeated it to stir the souls, awaken the mind and touch the hearts of readers.

On Monday night, Morrison completed the story of her life.  She died in a New York hospital at the age of 88.

As word of her death spread on Tuesday, fans and celebs turned to social media to mourn and remember the woman who inspired generations.

Morrison was born in Ohio to working-class parents who struggled to raise their four children. Despite the hardships, Morrison says her parents taught her how to rise above life’s pain.  When she was a toddler their landlord set fire to their home when they couldn’t pay the rent.  Morrison says at one of the lowest points in their lives her family responded by laughing in the face of the man behind the cruelty and violence.  It didn’t break them but made them stronger.

Morrison says along with a sense of integrity, her parents gave her a love of heritage, language and the merging of the two in ghost stories and folktales.  The tales of her own life would start to take shape in 1949  as Morrison went off to college at Howard University.  Morrison says for the first time she encountered Jim Crow laws as she discovered the color of her skin meant she could eat at certain restaurants or go into some stores.

In 1965, the now-divorced mother of two began working as an editor at Random House.  Two years later she was promoted to the publisher’s first black woman senior editor in the fiction department where Morrison introduced the world to some of the greatest works of African American authors including “The Black Book” which documented lives of Blacks from slavery to the ’70s.

Absorbing and studying all the works of others instilled in Morrison a desire to share stories dwelling inside her.  She says she woke up at four every morning to write her first novel, “The Bluest Eye”. It was met by a cold reception in the literary world, but Morrison was determined to continue her passion. Finally, her third novel “Song of Solomon” brought her national acclaim and would go on to win the National Book Critics Circle Award.

It would be another decade before Morrison would write her most celebrated work “Beloved” about love and the African-American experience.  The book hovered on the best-seller list for 25 weeks.  In 1998, the novel was adapted to a movie produced by Oprah Winfrey.

Morrison wore many hats in her lifetime, editor, essayist, novelist, professor emeritus at Princeton University.  But for adoring fans, Morrison at her best was a history teacher who penned the pains of racism, sexism, and childhood into the pages that gave people the strength to endure.

Morrison lived life on the terms she set.  She was as strong as the steel forged in the town she born in and as tender as the tears her works evoked.  In the end, the words best suited for her epitaph are her own…

We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.” –Toni Morrison



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    Shawn J.

    August 7, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    Many condolences to Toni Morrison’s family; may she forever rest in Heaven/paradise/peace/power.

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