“She is our conscience, she is our seer, she is our truth-teller,” said Oprah Winfrey, and her words are still packed with power no matter how many years pass after they were written.
Her words weren't meant for momentary comfort or for adding more color to the reader's imagination. Her words were necessary for change. Toni Morrison, seen as a national treasure by many, could stir up all the right emotions to inspire and to challenge. On August 5, 2019, she passed away at the age of 88, leaving behind a literary legacy of 11 novels, five children’s books, two plays, a song cycle, and an opera, according to Time.
“It is with profound sadness we share that, following a short illness, our adored mother and grandmother, Toni Morrison, passed away peacefully last night surrounded by family and friends,” the Morrison family said in a statement, according to Vox.
“She is our conscience, she is our seer, she is our truth-teller,” Oprah Winfrey aptly described her, according to The Associated Press. Toni Morrison was able to capture the stark realities in the country and stand up for people who needed a voice.
"What a force her thoughts have been and how grateful we must be that they were offered to us in this extremely challenging age," said novelist Alice Walker, according to The Guardian.
She was able to sink into the pain and vulnerabilities of her characters and soothe the reader about what they were going through. And for that, she earned herself a Pulitzer Prize and a Nobel Prize. In every role of hers, she shone brightly for her loved ones. "She was an extremely devoted mother, grandmother, and aunt who reveled in being with her family and friends..." the statement by the family said. "Although her passing represents a tremendous loss, we are grateful she had a long, well-lived life."
Through her well-lived life, she's said powerful words in her books, in speeches, and in public appearances that have struck a chord with many. And here's some of them.