Toni Morison, famed author, intellectual, playwright, and all-around free-thinker (and one of my favorite titles: Howard Alumni!) was recently honored by the US Postal Service with the announcement of her very own Forever stamp. A Forever stamp, a First Class postage stamp that can be used to mail letters weighing one ounce or less no matter what the postal rate, has honored legends such as Martin Luther King Jr., W.E.B. Du Bois, Ella Fitzgerald, and many more. The announcement came at a perfect time in March, which is Women’s History Month and just a day before International Women’s day (March 8th). It is amazing to see women, especially Black women, being celebrated by a huge organization like the United States Postal Service.
The stamp unveiling ceremony was held at Princeton University, where Morrison taught for more than 20 years. According to CNN, a pre-recorded speech from entrepreneur and Black icon Oprah Winfrey, was played during the ceremony. In the speech, Winfrey commemorated Morrison for her ability to influence several generations of Black and Brown people through her creative and authentic storytelling. “Toni Morrison’s books are in so many of our homes and abide in our hearts because she served as a catalyst for generations of readers over the years to understand the power of reading and words.”
The ceremony also included a reading of a letter from former US President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama. The letter celebrated Morrison’s sheer impact on the world of literature and storytelling. “She helped generations of Black Americans reimagine what was possible,” the Obamas proclaimed.
Morrison’s literary works such as Song of Solomon, Sula, The Bluest Eye, and Beloved still stand strong as powerful stories of Black life in all of its aspects. Even Though Morrison has now passed, her wisdom should be celebrated and honored for many more years to come.
By Amaar Zarrieff, Freshman, Howard University
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