The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) mourns the loss of Pulitzer Prize-winning Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison. Morrison, who was 88, died Monday night at Montefiore Medical Center in New York, according to her publisher, Penguin Random House. Morrison’s family, in a statement released by the publisher, said she passed “following a short illness” and surrounded by loved ones.
“NABJ is saddened to learn of the passing of literary giant Toni Morrison. Her stories have impacted generations. She perfected telling the stories of black women and black life, which resonated with people around the globe. Her authentic voice will be greatly missed,” said Sarah Glover, NABJ President. “NABJ sends our deepest condolences to the Morrison family.”
Morrison’s body of work focused on African American life and culture, and she dominated an industry in which depictions of black life were often limited and rooted in stereotype.
Morrison has been awarded a number of literary distinctions, among them the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988 for her masterwork, “Beloved.” A decade later, Oprah Winfrey produced and starred in a movie based on the book.
An outpouring of sympathy was expressed from NABJ leadership:—Dorothy Tucker, NABJ Vice President-Broadcast
“I had the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Morrison several years ago when she released her bestseller ‘Beloved.’ I will always appreciate her patience and kindness. We were fortunate to have had such a remarkable voice in our lives.”
“Toni Morrison was one of the greatest storytellers of our time, boldly chronicling the lives of people who looked like us, giving life to our experiences for mainstream consumption. My first Toni Morrison book, “Sula,” was read in a classroom, which says so much about her reach and impact. She will be missed.”—Marlon A. Walker, NABJ Vice President-Print
“A powerful voice has been silenced but her works will live on forever. Ms. Morrison’s body of work will inspire generations of young girls who, like me, turned to her words in the quest to recognize their own voice.”
–Cheryl Smith, NABJ Secretary