Toni Morrison, author of Beloved and The Bluest Eye and the first Black woman to receive a Nobel Prize in literature has died at age 88, her publisher announced on Tuesday, Aug. 6. Her cause of death was not immediately known but her publicist told Good Morning America that Morrison was in Montefiore Medical Center in New York at the time of her death and her family shared that Morrison had a "short illness." The late author left behind countless fans who admired and learned from her work, and these tweets about Toni Morrison's death share how much she meant to those who read her novels.
On Aug. 6, Morrison's publisher Alfred A. Knopf tweeted a message about Morrison's death, writing, "We are profoundly sad to report that Toni Morrison has died at the age of eighty-eight." The post listed the date of her death as Aug. 5. The tweet also included a quote from Morrison's 1993 Nobel Prize Lecture where she said, "We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.” In a statement released by her publisher, Morrison's family called her an "extremely devoted" grandmother, mother, and aunt and added, "Although her passing represents a tremendous loss, we are grateful she had a long, well-lived life."
Morrison's fans took to Twitter to share how much she and her work meant to them. President Barack Obama, who awarded Morrison the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012, called Morrison a "national treasure" and shared a photo of her, adding, "What a gift to breathe the same air as her, if only for a while."
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) shared a picture and quote from Morrison and wrote, "Holding all those touched by Toni Morrison in my heart today."
2020 presidential hopefuls such as Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California) wrote that Morrison's work gave the world "power, hope & freedom." Beto O'Rourke called her words, "A lesson for each of us. A lesson for our country."
Producer and writer Shonda Rhimes shared that Morrison helped her understand that being a writer was a valid profession. "I grew up wanting to be only her," she wrote.
Stacey Abrams, a gubernatorial candidate in Georgia in 2018, tweeted about the kind of author Morrison was. Abrams wrote, "Toni Morrison was a towering intellect, a brilliant scribe of our nation’s complex stories, a heartbreaking journalist of our deepest desires, and a groundbreaking author who destroyed precepts, walls and those who dared underestimate her capacity."
Even the Twitter account for Merriam-Webster dictionary posted a tweet with the definition of the word "beloved," the title of one of her most famous books, to honor Morrison's legacy.
Many fans called her one of the best writers and one of the most powerful voices in the country, including writer and academic Clint Smith, who called her "our country's greatest writer."
Others shared their favorite quotes or works from the late author, including words of wisdom she shared on topics like race, self-love, and ambition.
Some even talked about her traits and what kind of person Morrison was, such as Lamont Hill, professor and BET News host, who wrote that Morrison was "kind, hilarious, effortlessly brilliant, and (if she liked you) surprisingly playful."
While the news of Morrison's passing is impacting those who knew her and those who were changed by her writing, the tweets from fans and admirers indicate that Morrison's legacy will be well-preserved and honored for years to come.