Toni Morrison, (flanked by Quincy Troupe & and Stanley Diamond’s shoulder), at a benefit for Chinua Achebe, who’d just relocated to the US after a debilitating car accident in Lagos, Philadelphia Museum of Art, October 28, 1990 (photo by Allen Ginsberg, courtesy Stanford University Libraries / Allen Ginsberg Estate)
The great African-American novelist, essayist, editor, teacher, and fearless social commentator, Toni Morrison passed away on this day, August 5, 2019 – aged 88.
A greatly-missed voice.
Here is her detailed New York Times obituary
(and here, an op-ed, published in the New York Times a few days later, by Angela Davis and Farah Jasmine Griffin – a necessary reminder – “Toni Morrison, Revolutionary Political Thinker”)
In a notorious interview with Australian journalist Jana Wendt, (back in 1998), Morrison is asked why she both “marginalizes” white people in her work and if she’d ever write “sustainably” about white character! Morrison interjects with, “You can’t understand how powerfully racist that question is, can you?”, keeping her composure, although obviously appalled, before carefully breaking it all down for her. See that (and the rest of that interview) here (the interview segment begins at approximately three minutes in)
American and Chinese writers attending a meeting in Beijing. In the first row are Leslie Marmon Silko (left), Francine Du Plessix Gray (third from left), Allen Ginsburg (fifth from left), Harrison Salisbury (fifth from right), Toni Morrison (fourth from right) and Maxine Hong Kingston (second from right). Gary Snyder is fifth from left on the second row
Toni Morrison – Forbidden City, Beijing, 1984, (as member of American Academy of Arts & Letters Delegation to China – Photo by Allen Ginsberg, courtesy Stanford University Libraries/ Allen Ginsberg Estate)