“Oppressive language does more than represent 

violence; it is violence, does more than represent the limits of knowledge; it limits knowledge.”

–Toni Morrison

Born in Ohio in 1931, Toni Morrison was an American novelist, essayist, editor and Professor whose works creatively, compassionately, intelligently stretched the inter-woven strands of racism, class and gender running through American society. As an editor at Random House publications, she tried to bring marginalised black histories, pieces of literature to the mainstream. She wrote over a dozen novels each grappling with the complex quests of black identity, culture, and history in America.

Her Nobel Prize speech in 1993 focused on how the language has systematically been simplified to circumscribe imagination, knowledge and then used as a tool to justify violence (racism). She, therefore, called it the job of a writer to fight against this limitation of language/imagination/knowledge by telling varied, multiple, complex, honest stories.

Toni Morrison left this mortal world only last year on August 5th. However, her work will guide those who intend to fight and challenge multiple kinds of violence justified, normalised through language.