Toni Morrison’s Hometown Declares Author’s Birthday As “Toni Morrison Day”
City Council members of Lorain, Ohio, recently passed a resolution to celebrate February 18 as Toni Morrison Day, The Morning Journal reports. The day also doubles as the prolific author’s birthday.
The resolution was adopted on September 3 in a ceremony attended by Morrison’s nephew Ken Brooks who accepted the honor on his aunt’s behalf.
“I’d like to say that I’m thankful and honored to accept this resolution for my aunt, Toni Morrison, and I’m sure she’d be thankful also,” Brooks said.
“That concept had profound positive impacts on the folks that received it,” he said while reflecting on his aunt’s frequent references to the idea of love in her work. “So, I’m reminded and challenged, and I would ask you all, to extend love to your fellow neighbors when maybe it’s not the easiest thing to do.”
Lorain’s resolution follows the efforts of Ohio State Reps Joe Miller, (D-Amherst), and Stephanie Howse, (D-Cleveland), who co-authored a bill to honor the legendary writer days after she died in New York City on August 5 at the age of 88. The legislation would mark a state-wide recognition of February 18 as “Toni Morrison Day,” according to The Cleveland Scene.
“Toni Morrison’s life and writing exemplified her unique gift for creating passionate, elegant and timeless literature…her work stirred our souls, challenged our conscience to confront injustices and encouraged the rest of the world to do the same,” Rep. Howse said in a previous statement. The bill is currently en route to the House Rules and Reference Committee and will be assigned to a committee soon, the outlet reports.
Morrison broke ground and changed the landscape of the American novel with her art which centered its characters on Black womanhood, and Black community life. She made history as the first Black woman to receive the Nobel Prize for literature in 1993 and also won a Pulitzer Prize for her novel, “Beloved” In 2012, she was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom under former President Barack Obama.
News of Morrison’s death prompted an outpouring of heartfelt reflections from several notable writers and public figures including former First Lady Michelle Obama, former President Barack Obama, Shonda Rhimes and many others who reflected on her impactful work.