An opportunity to hear the late Toni Morrison in her own words.
She won the Nobel Prize in Literature, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Former President Barack Obama issued a statement upon learning of her death Monday at the age of 88:
“Time is no match for Toni Morrison. In her writing, she sometimes toyed with it, warping and creasing it, bending it to her masterful will. In her life’s story, too, she treated time non-traditionally. A child of the Great Migration who’d lifted up new, more diverse voices in American literature as an editor, Toni didn’t publish her first novel until she was 39 years old. From there followed an ascendant career—a Pulitzer, a Nobel, and so much more—and with it, a fusion of the African American story within the American story. Toni Morrison was a national treasure. Her writing was not just beautiful but meaningful—a challenge to our conscience and a call to greater empathy. She was as good a storyteller, as captivating, in person as she was on the page. And so even as Michelle and I mourn her loss and send our warmest sympathies to her family and friends, we know that her stories—that our stories—will always be with us, and with those who come after, and on and on, for all time.”
Toni Morrison gave the opening convocation and helped inaugurate the new Institute for Global Citizenship at Macalester College in St. Paul on Sept. 5, 2006.