In Memoriam: Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison, Nobel Laureate and a pillar of American letters and thought, passed away on August 5, 2019.
Morrison wrote unabashedly for and about Black people, centering the emotional, psychological, and social lives of Black women and their families in her work. She possessed a fierce mind and joyful spirit and she remained unflinching in the face of systemic anti-Black racism and sexism. Her novels and criticism have become canonical, inspiring generations of readers the world over. In the social media age, her televised interviews have also gained popularity as they reveal with striking clarity the straightforward power of her presence and the grace with which she handled questions based on limiting notions of Black female excellence.
It is often noted that Morrison minored in Classics as an undergraduate at Howard University. But her greatness was not dependent on her engagement with Euripides’ Medea or Bacchae. Rather, she took parts from an array of places and made them whole while leaving space for those often neglected or debased in dominant narratives to craft their own sense of wholeness. She mentored many writers, as a professional editor, private friend, and often in the classroom as a teacher. But for those she never met one-on-one and touched only through her words, she also made space.
We are fortunate to have had her and to have pieces of her in perpetuity.
Let us consider ourselves forever in her grace.
More will be posted here about how Eos will celebrate her life and plans to continue along the paths she paved for us all.