PRINCETON, N.J. — Nobel laureate Toni Morrison is now forever immortalized on a U.S. postage stamp honoring the prolific writer, editor, scholar and mentor that was unveiled this week in a tribute at Princeton University, where she taught for almost two decades.
Guest speakers, some who had close relationships with Morrison and spoke over Zoom, included former President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey, as well as the Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden.
A monthslong series of events is paying tribute to Morrison, who died in 2019 at age 88. In 1993, Morrison became the first Black woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.
The tribute opened with a recording of Morrison’s voice playing in the auditorium, reciting a passage on Harlem from her 1992 novel “Jazz”: “Nobody says it’s pretty here; nobody says it’s easy either. What it is is decisive, and if you pay attention to the street plans, all laid out, the City can’t hurt you.” Later, an all-Black a capella group sang the hymn “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which is known as the Black national anthem.
The dedication was made by Michael Cadden, a longtime Princeton lecturer who taught courses with Morrison.