Remembering Toni Morrison

Today it was announced that, Nobel Prize Laureate, Toni Morrison has died at the age of 88. The New York Times called her the “Towering Novelist of the Black Experience,” and many are remembering her on social media today. She was a wordsmith if ever there was one. When I first attempted to read Toni Morrisons’ works, I was a teenager. I was overwhelmed to say the least. I kept reading the same page over and over, trying to understand. To me, she was as prolific to the generations as Shakespeare. She knew the word, and she knew how to use it.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1) The “word” in the Greek is, logos. Logos is defined as principle of divine reason and creative order. It is the entire idea. It is the thinking, the practice, the writing, the doing… it is the whole enchilada. And that’s what I think about when I think of Toni Morrison’s body of work. It was a complete thought. She didn’t waiver. It is a though she was given a divine revelation and she took it as her calling to enlightening us all, not just Blacks. 

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Toni Morrison was better than we deserved and will be missed. And, I believe that the best that we can do, is to look to those other writers among us that are speaking to a deep and imperative experience. I believe that we can honor her memory by continuing her legacy. Let us speak her name and read her words, so that they will never end. So that the word keeps beginning, again and again. 

Karmen Smith