The US Postal Service held a first-day-of-issue ceremony at Princeton University to celebrate the life and legacy of Toni Morrison, an author who explored the diverse voices of African Americans through her novels. The ceremony was attended by several notable figures, including USPS Chief Information Officer and Executive Vice President Pritha Mehra, President of Princeton University Chris Eisgruber, and Professor of African American Studies at Princeton Ruha Benjamin. The stamp features a portrait of Toni Morrison taken by photographer Deborah Feingold. During the ceremony, a letter of tribute from former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama was read, and a video tribute from Oprah Winfrey was played. Morrison was born in 1931 in Lorain, OH, and is known for her bestselling novels, including “The Bluest Eye,” “Sula,” and “Beloved.” She received numerous awards and honors, including the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993, and was the first African American woman to receive the rare distinction. Morrison passed away in 2019, but her powerful words continue to inspire people around the world.
“between writing and the imagination”
Morrison continued to write and publish prolifically in the years that followed. Her 1997 novel “Paradise” explores the intersections of race, gender, and violence in a small, all-black town in Oklahoma. Her 2003 novel “Love” examines the emotional complexities of friendship and romance between two women in 20th-century America.
In addition to her work as a writer, Morrison was also a beloved teacher and mentor. She taught at Princeton for more than two decades and inspired countless students with her wisdom and insight. In 1996, she founded the Princeton Atelier, which brought together artists from different disciplines to collaborate on creative projects.
Morrison’s contributions to American literature were recognized with numerous awards and honors over the course of her career. In addition to the Nobel Prize and the National Book Foundation Medal, she also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Humanities Medal, and the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction.
Morrison passed away on August 5, 2019, at the age of 88. Her legacy as one of the most important and influential writers of the 20th century lives on through her work and the countless readers and writers she has inspired. More About Toni Morrison