"I learned everything I needed to know about what hinders and what supports an African American woman when I read The Bluest Eye. Toni became one of my "Mothers-in-Literature," the first of a group that would include Gwendolyn Brooks, Mary Helen Washington, Ntozake Shange, Isabel Allende and others. She created a thirst in me to learn everything about my black heritage. I read male and female authors, history anthologies, and took African American cultural classes in college, eventually becoming a teacher of history and literature myself.
This loss is one so profound that we will not even fully grasp it until years later. We are losing so many of our major, positive voices in the arts and humanities, with few children being encouraged to follow. A black college student once asked, "What is jazz?"
Let her entry into the eternal sleep remind those of us alive of the need to "Stay Woke."
We love you Toni. We already miss you.
If anyone learns of a ceremony or a memorial service, let us all know. She should not disappear into the night, without observance. Unless she requested that departure."
"I am so sorry for your loss. Losing our loved ones is never easy but may the love of people that surrounds you soften your grief. May the her words and works comfort many that knew her and get to know her. May you continue to throw all your burden on to God because He cares for you."