Words. The power of life and death lies in the tongue when it speaks, and it resonates with resilience on the paper that they are written on. The omnipresence of the Creator, sitting high and looking down below, gazed upon his flock. The world was evil in 1931. Thedark veil of racism covered the States and poverty penetrated the people to the core two years after The Great Depression. So much hatred, sadness, and bitterness existed. Gratefully, in that cloud of darkness, the Creator decided to bless His precious earth with a shining light.
Chloe Anthony Wofford “Toni” Morrison lit up the small world of Lorain, Ohio on February 3, 1931.
God’s gift to His people, Toni would embark on a life filled with a strong sense of heritage,
integrity, pride, and an inquisitive mind that led her eyes to read and gain exposure to the ups and
downs of the world she lived in. Her avid love of reading would take her on a journey from a
beacon of light to the literary warrior the Creator destined for her to be. What a literary warrior
was she! Words of her literary masterpieces combined the elements of black folklore with the
powerful tongues and struggles of the ancestors; the same men, women, and children whose lives
Toni creatively inundated into profound and memorable novels, books, and essays.
She wrote literary pieces that invoked colorful, and sometimes controversial, conversations about slavery; struggles with the sense of displaying black pride in a society of pro-white; black women and
their constant struggle to stay alive and survive; life and death; determination and despair; and
loving one self. She sought out, and brought forth, other black literary writers at her editorial
post working for Random House. It was Toni’s mission to inform the masses that there was
more to literary artwork than the white hero writers of the times; it was time for the black writers
to talk to the black people, just like the black warriors stood up for their communities before her
time. Her calling was predetermined; her destiny already mapped out. The Creator doesn’t
make any mistakes, and Ms. Morrison rose above and beyond that calling, fulfilling
every task that was laid upon her.
Her grind paid off, earning her many accolades, including the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature in 1993. Through it all- her tumultuous marriage and the death of her son- Toni elevated Black culture that had been suppressed for so long. She challenged Black society to have a sense of pride about themselves and their heritage. Her intricate ways with word- from the tongue and on paper- will always be an everlasting reminder that true warriors leave an imprint on society to inspire and empower others to act! As the journey of the literary warrior came to an end on August 8, 2019, Toni’s life and accomplishment will always reflect on of the many quotes she uttered- “If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it”. Ride
on, Mother Toni- ride on!
Photos: Google Stock (Email for credits)