Nigerians pay tribute to Toni Morrison, the first African-American woman to win a Nobel Prize

“We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives,” she once said.

Toni Morrison passes away (witter/akefestival)

Tributes have been pouring in since news of Toni Morrison’s death was confirmed a few hours ago.

According to her family and publisher, the 1993 Nobel laureate in literature died on Monday, August 5, 2019, at age 88. She passed away at the Montefiore Medical Center in New York following a short illness.

The statement issued by the Morrison family via her publisher read: “It is with profound sadness we share that, following a short illness, our adored mother and grandmother, Toni Morrison, passed away peacefully last night surrounded by family and friends… The consummate writer who treasured the written word, whether her own, her students or others, she read voraciously and was most at home when writing. Although her passing represents a tremendous loss, we are grateful she had a long, well-lived life.”

The prolific author wrote over 10 books including Beloved (1987), the Pulitzer-winning novel which was later made into a film starring Oprah Winfrey. She was best known for exploring black identity in America and the experience of black women in particular.

Apart from her work, Morrison helped to anthologise the writings of notable African authors like Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka. She also worked as an essayist, playwright, songwriter and an academic who regularly lectured at various top universities across the US.

Her other accolades include becoming the first black woman to win a Nobel Prize in 1993 and receiving the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.

Twitter Reactions

Toni Morrison is currently trending on Twitter with over 500k tweets as people celebrate the life of talented Nobel laureate who inspired so many.

Here is how Nigerians are paying their respects to the late literary genius:

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