3) Toni Morrison: Novelist, editor, professor
Best known for: “Song Of Solomon,” “The Bluest Eye,” “Beloved”
Why we love her: One of the greatest living scribes, Morrison paints haunting images of love, race, pain and beauty. She’s also an example of the power of a sister with a dream: she penned her first novel, “The Bluest Eye,” as a 39-year-old single mother of two.
Notable quotable: “I wrote my first novel because I wanted to read it.”