Thousands came to the magnificent cathedral of Saint John the Divine (where James Baldwin was laid to rest and Toni Morrison eulogized him) to remember and celebrate the life and legacy of the great American writer Toni Morrison. It was a true celebration with individual musical performances (harp, acoustic guitar, piano and even the saxophone) and bonafide literary and pop culture celebrities (yes, Oprah was there!). There was a long line around the block an hour and a half before the late afternoon memorial service started at 4:00 p.m.
Toni Morrison, the first African American woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, passed away in August of this year at the age of 88. Among the nine speakers at today’s memorial were Ta-Nehisi Coates, Angela Davis, Edwidge Danticat and the humorist Fran Lebowitz, who all paid tribute to the author of 11 novels such as Beloved and Song of Solomon.
The speakers told of their