Stars from the worlds of politics, entertainment and literature paid tribute to Toni Morrison after news broke that the Nobel Prize-winning author of “Song of Solomon” and “Beloved” died on Monday at the age of 88.
“Toni Morrison was a national treasure, as good a storyteller, as captivating, in person as she was on the page,” Barack Obama said on Tuesday. “Her writing was a beautiful, meaningful challenge to our conscience and our moral imagination. What a gift to breathe the same air as her, if only for a while.”
“Aw man Toni Morrison taught me the word Rememory. RIP to a incredibly powerful and impactful woman,” Chance the Rapper said in a tweet.
Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, director of the new documentary, “Toni Morrison: The Pieces that I Am,” shared his memories of the author in a statement to TheWrap. “I’ve been privileged to know Toni Morrison for nearly 40 years. During that time, she won many awards and accolades — the Nobel, a Pulitzer, the Presidential Medal of Freedom … But for me, Toni has been a treasured collaborator, a monumental inspiration and, most importantly, a cherished friend.
“We will all miss her, but the gifts she left us — her written works that have transformed so many lives around the world — live on … to educate, empower and nourish us. For this and all she shared with us, I say thank you Toni. My deepest sympathies go out to her family and friends,” he added.
Celeste Ng, author of the best-selling novel “Little Fires Everywhere,” which has been adapted by Hulu as a limited series, wrote: “So deeply saddened. Thank you for everything, Ms. Morrison.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said: “Toni Morrison will be remembered as one of the greatest thinkers and storytellers in our history. She gave us all so much, and her work continues to give throughout time.”
Morrison’s publisher Knopf confirmed that the Pulitzer Prize winner died.
“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. “The consummate writer who treasured the written word, whether her own, her students or others, she read voraciously and was most at home when writing.”
New York Magazine and HuffPo contributor Yashar Ali posted a series of tributes to Morrison, including some of her most famous quotes on racism and a photo her becoming the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.
See these and other tributes below:
Toni Morrison was a national treasure, as good a storyteller, as captivating, in person as she was on the page. Her writing was a beautiful, meaningful challenge to our conscience and our moral imagination. What a gift to breathe the same air as her, if only for a while. pic.twitter.com/JG7Jgu4p9t
– Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 6, 2019
Aw man Toni Morrison taught me the word Rememory. RIP to a incredibly powerful and impactful woman.
– The Big Day out now (@chancetherapper) August 6, 2019
2. In 1993, Toni Morrison became the first African-American to be awarded a Nobel Prize for literature. pic.twitter.com/tURxjbnM8i
– Yashar Ali ???? (@yashar) August 6, 2019
4. Toni Morrison on racism pic.twitter.com/ZAs7agoGA9
– Yashar Ali ???? (@yashar) August 6, 2019
Toni Morrison will be remembered as one of the greatest thinkers and storytellers in our history.
She gave us all so much, and her work continues to give throughout time. Thank you, Toni Morrison. https://t.co/XEDGNS7OXW
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 6, 2019
“If you can only be tall because somebody is on their knees, then you have a serious problem. And my feeling is white people have a very, very serious problem, and they should start thinking about what they can do about it.”
Rest In Power Toni Morrisonpic.twitter.com/KD0mukv4x0
- Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) August 6, 2019
Toni Morrison was a towering intellect, a brilliant scribe of our nation’s complex stories, a heartbreaking journalist of our deepest desires, and a groundbreaking author who destroyed precepts, walls and those who dared underestimate her capacity. Rest well and in peace. pic.twitter.com/nMkxXRtEoz
- Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) August 6, 2019
“If you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else.” -Toni Morrison
Today we lost an American legend. May she rest in peace. https://t.co/DInZvd8stY
– Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) August 6, 2019
“We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.” Toni Morrison. I’m deeply sadden to share that one of our greatest writers and minds in American History, Toni Morrison, passed away at the age of 88. May God Bless Her Soul. pic.twitter.com/Dq1UL4ENIY
– COMMON (@common) August 6, 2019
Toni Morrison. While you have left the physical realm, the many treasures you left us will bear fruit for generations and generations. Your work has cascaded through my life deeply and simply…rest in power to a beloved icon. pic.twitter.com/YQPS3gR5Ml
– Tracee Ellis Ross (@TraceeEllisRoss) August 6, 2019
“If you look at the world as a brutal game, then you bump into the mystery of the tree-shaped scar. There seems to be such a thing as grace, such a thing as beauty, such a thing as harmony. All of which are wholly free and available to us.” Your life was our gift, #ToniMorrison pic.twitter.com/wcD7w9zKYp
– Ava DuVernay (@ava) August 6, 2019
“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” -Toni Morrison RIP pic.twitter.com/0K1AZtoll6
– Wendell Pierce (@WendellPierce) August 6, 2019