Toni Morrison Honored With New Princeton Stamp!

The prolific author, editor, scholar, and mentor Toni Morrison—a Nobel laureate—is now permanently commemorated on a stamp revealed on Tuesday morning at Princeton University, where she spent almost two decades as a professor.

Carla Hayden, the Library of Congress, former President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, and Oprah Winfrey were among the guests who spoke over Zoom; some had close personal ties to Morrison.

The months-long calendar of activities is a memorial to Morrison, who passed away in 2019 at 88. The memorial began with a recording of Morrison’s voice reading a paragraph about Harlem from her 1992 book “Jazz” while it played in the audience: Nobody claims this place is attractive or straightforward.

If you follow the laid-out street plans, which are what it is, the City can’t harm you. The well-known hymn “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” regarded as the Black national anthem, was later performed by an all-Black acapella choir.

Michael Cadden, a longstanding Princeton lecturer who previously chaired the Lewis Center of the Arts and co-taught classes with Morrison, gave the dedication speech.

The United States Postal Service’s chief information officer and executive vice president, Pritha Mehra, was presented by Cadden. She expressed the postal service’s pride in honoring Morrison.

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“Our new stamp will be seen by millions and forever remind us of the power of her words and the ideas she brought to the world,” Mehra said.

Speaking at the occasion was photographer Deborah Feingold, whose photograph of Morrison was used as the cover image for Time magazine on January 19, 1998.

Ford Harrison, Morrison’s son, and his family were also present on Tuesday. “Anybody lucky enough to meet (Morrison) knows that she was just as compelling in person as she was on the paper,” said Ruha Benjamin, a professor of African American studies who read a letter written by the Obamas.

She remarked, “We hope she will smile when she sees this postal stamp and will embrace the notion of enabling us to reconnect through letters once more.

Benjamin stated, “Toni may not be among us anymore, but we know her words will continue – testing our conscience and calling us to more profound empathy.

Winfrey noted that Morrison impacted many viewers when she first visited “The Oprah Show” and spoke about raising her boys alone. “Ms. Morrison, sometimes your writings are complex and difficult for certain people to read,” I told her.

Toni Morrison Honored With New Princeton Stamp!

Then she said, “Oh, consider how challenging they are to write,” added Winfrey. But Winfrey said, “Difficult or not, she brought people from all over the country and the world together in an entirely new experience through her words.

A display examining Morrison’s creative process will be displayed at the university library through June 4 and this month’s activities. The exhibit, which comprises more than 100 items from her archives, includes some never-before-seen items, including manuscripts, letters she wrote to other Black women, photos, and hand-drawn maps she made while working on her well-known 1987 book “Beloved.” Several of the last versions of the “Song of Solomon” are included in the display, along with various incomplete tasks.

Author Edwidge Danticat will provide the keynote presentation at a three-day conference later this month; in April, Grammy-winning performer Cecile McLorin Salvant will perform.

Morrison’s legacy will continue to inspire the university, the local area, and most crucially, Black artists and artists of color, according to Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber. “She was a writer of rare genius, brilliant originality, and genuinely historical importance,” Eisgruber said.

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