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Remembering Toni Morrison, who reminds us to "give up the sh*t that weighs you down"

“You wanna fly, you got to give up the sh*t that weighs you down.”

By Sophia Abbasi, Social Media Manager

Series note: For Women's History month, we'll be featuring hardworking women each week who inspire us daily. From women breaking gender barriers in their fields to women fighting for equal rights, they all embody what Death Wish strives for every day: strength. Sign up for The Scoop to receive updates from this series right in your inbox.

Toni Morrison spoke the truth. Not only did she have a way with words and was a literary genius of our time, she wrote with such depth and experience, that you could feel the meaning in her work.  

A black and white photo of Toni Morrison, a world-renowned novelist

As the most celebrated author with countless books, plays, literary works, and awards (including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and Nobel Prize for Literature) Morrison wrote about life. The pain and beauty of it. She told us about the racism and discrimination that African Americans faced in this country, using poetic realism to show us how that experience traumatized generations.

Morrison inspired other incredible writers, and the work of many activists, including Maya Angelou, Ernest J. Gaines, and Angela Davis.  

Today, Toni Morrison is celebrated as colleges and universities, and throughout the world as a model for creative, non-fiction, and fictional writing. Even the state of Ohio has dedicated February 18th as Toni Morrison Day.

Her work resonated with children, young people, adults, and so many diverse groups, that she reminded us that perspective matters. In her work in “Beloved,” she took the role of a witness of a murdered child that takes up residence in the house of the murderer.

In “The Bluest Eye”, she references her life as a single mom of two and her job as a book editor.  Toni Morrison embodied the realness we all strive to achieve, and hope to see in others.

Her work inspired so many, and continues to be relevant today. Without her work, we wouldn’t be us. 

Related: For Women's History Month, we remember Nellie Bly

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