Throughout her career, Morrison has written and published acclaimed books such as Beloved, The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Soloman, Tar Baby, Jazz, Love, Paradise, A Mercy, Home and God Help the Child. Morrison's books tackled themes such as slavery, misogyny, colorism and supernaturalism.
Back in 2018, Oprah Winfrey spoke about the significance of Morrison's legacy throughout our culture. Morrison's books became popular amongst a new generation of readers when Winfrey added both Solomon and The Bluest Eye to her famous book club. Winfrey also co-produced a film adaptation of Beloved. "It's impossible to actually imagine the American literary landscape without a Toni Morrison," Winfrey said of Morrison. "She is our conscience, she is our seer, she is our truth-teller."
In 1993, Morrison became the first black woman to ever be awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature and, in 2012, Barack Obama honored her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
"Black-ish" show creator, Shonda Rhimes, paid tribute to the late author by posting a photograph of Morrison to Instagram. The photo entails a quote by Morrison that reads, "If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, you must be the one to write it." For her caption, Rhimes kept it short: "Genius has moved on."
Following the unfortunate news, many fans have shared heartfelt messages on social media. "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," Stacey Abrams wrote to Twitter. "Rest well and in peace."
"Toni Morrison was simply everything to me," Yamiche Alcindor wrote. "She gave me the language to love myself, to understand this world and taught me to be brave in the face of anything and everything. I'm so devastated that she is gone and so grateful that she was here to teach this little black girl."