Morrison appreciated for giving black women a voice

Morrison appreciated for giving black women a voice
Visitors view a portrait of Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, painted by the artist Robert McCurdy, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington. Morrison, a pioneer and reigning giant of modern literature, died Monday at age 88. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Random House senior editor Porscha Burke keeps a copy of the Toni Morrison-edited The Black Book — an expansive encyclopedia on the accomplishments of African-Americans — on her desk at work, not only as a memento of the author, but also to keep her aware of the path Morrison blazed for black women like her in the world.

Unflinching and outspoken, Toni Morrison always spoke her truth without fear, especially when it came to racism, sexism and the American life, never caring to conform to the paradigms that her white male-dominated society tried to impress upon on her.

After Morrison died this week at 88, people around the world, particularly black women, mourned the loss of the Nobel laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winner and praised her for reflecting their pains and triumphs in her work.