State Reps. Joe Miller (D-Amherst) and Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) today announced the signing of legislation honoring the late author Toni Morrison by designating her birthday, February 18, as “Toni Morrison Day” in Ohio.
Morrison, a native of Lorain, Ohio, rose to prominence through novels and non-fiction works that often examined Black identity in America. Her works, including the novels Beloved and Song of Solomon, earned her a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, a Nobel Prize in Literature, the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contributions to American Letters, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Toni Morrison was recently inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York on Dec. 10.
“I am thrilled to see HB 325 signed into law, designating February 18 as Toni Morrison Day in Ohio. Toni Morrison remains a continued source of pride in Lorain, whose legacy will be forever cherished in the hearts and minds of Ohioans. One of my favorite quotes by Toni is from her novel Beloved: “Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self is another.” This is the essence of Lorain, and beautifully reflects the grit my district has demonstrated as it faced the loss of the steel mills, assembly plants and control over our children’s education. It was her determination in the face of adversity, and her use of the written word to encapsulate that ethos, that enabled her to tell her story, and the story of Lorain, so eloquently,” said Rep. Miller.