“Because Toni Morrison, who died Monday at the age of 88, was the first black woman to do some important things—become an editor at Random House and win the Nobel Prize for Literature among them—her work has often been viewed solely through the lens of identity.
“That’s not wrong, certainly; “It’s very important to me that my work be African American,” Morrison told the Paris Review in 1993.
“At Random House, she published a dazzling array of black literary talent, from Gayl Jones and Henry Dumas to Toni Cade Bambara and Angela Davis—who wrote her autobiography at Morrison’s urging—as well as the landmark 1974 anthology of images and texts The Black Book.
“As example and inspiration, Morrison paved the way for and encouraged countless writers who might otherwise have felt there was no place for people like them in the pantheon of American literature.”
Read more at Slate