Toni Morrison Honored With Stamp By U.S. Postal Service
Legendary author Toni Morrison has been honored with a Forever stamp.
The stamp dedication ceremony occurred at Princeton University, where Morrison was a professor from 1989 to 2006, on March 7, which included a video message from Oprah Winfrey and a letter from former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. The letter read in part, "Toni told fundamental truths about our country and the human condition. But she didn't just reflect what was true. She helped generations of Black Americans reimagine what was possible. That's why we return to her stories again and again, finding new meaning each time."
University President Christopher L. Eisgruber said in his opening remarks,“It is a privilege to be able to host this event here at Princeton, because Toni Morrison has mattered tremendously to our campus and to our community. Throughout her life, she was a transformative presence who inspired those around her, and Princeton continues to reflect the remarkable effects of her legacy.”
Eisgruber added, "As a teacher, she helped her students develop their narrative voices and hone the craft of writing. As a colleague, she was generous with her time and her wisdom. She was an outstanding scholar who recognized the value of interdisciplinary collaborations and artistic work to the academic enterprise. She was a mentor for generations of students, including our Dean of the Faculty, Gene Jarrett, and she was a role model who inspired artists of color to pursue their creative aspirations. And, of course, she was a writer of rare genius, brilliant originality, and genuinely historic importance."
The stamp features a photo from 1997; see below:
Morrison was born Chloe Ardelia Wofford in 1931, in Lorain, Ohio. She was known for her lyrical prose, complex characters, and examination of themes related to race, gender, and identity. She wrote 11 novels, including The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon, Beloved" and God Help the Child, among others, as well as several non-fiction works, children's books, and plays.
Morrison began her career as an editor, working for Random House for nearly 20 years, where she championed the work of Black authors. In 1987, she became the first Black woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Throughout her life, Morrison was a prominent voice on issues of race and social justice, and her work significantly impacted the literary and cultural landscape of the United States and beyond.
Toni Morrison died at 88 years old on August 5, 2019, in New York City.