The U.S. Postal Service announced Tuesday that it will honor Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison as part of its Forever Stamp series.
“One of the goals of our stamp program is to raise awareness and celebrate the people who represent the very best of our nation,” said Pritha Mehra, USPS chief information officer and executive vice president, during a dedication ceremony at Princeton University in New Jersey. “It’s a privilege to represent the 650,000 men and women of the Postal Service, as we honor Toni Morrison with one more tribute — our new stamp that will be seen by millions and forever remind us of the power of her words and the ideas she brought to the world.”
During the ceremony, a letter of tribute from former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama was read and a video tribute from Oprah Winfrey was played.
Morrison, a native of Lorain, Ohio, attended Howard University in 1949 and later taught there. She earned a master’s degree in English at Cornell University.
Morrison also taught at Texas Southern University and Princeton, where she became a distinguished scholar.
In 1968, Morrison became the first Black woman senior editor at Random House, where she made a point of emphasizing the publication of books by African American authors. She published her first novel, “The Bluest Eye” in 1970.
Her second novel, “Sula,” received a nomination for a National Book Award. The next novel, “Song of Solomon,” became a national best-seller and became the first Black selection in the Book of the Month Club since Richard Wright’s “Native Son” in 1940.
Her 1987 novel “Beloved” won a Pulitzer Prize. In 1993, Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, becoming the first Black woman to receive that distinction.
In 2000, Morrison was awarded the National Humanities Medal and Obama honored her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012. She died in New York City on Aug. 5, 2019, at the age of 88.