Wellesley Remembers the Life and Legacy of Toni Morrison

August 7, 2019

#WednesdayWisdom from Toni Morrison​’s 2004 commencement speech at Wellesley College. The renowned and prolific author, who was the first African American woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, passed away yesterday at age 88. Watch or read Morrison’s full commencement address to the class of 2004. 

“Being your own story means you can always choose the tone. It also means that you can invent the language to say who you are and what you mean.

But then, I am a teller of stories and therefore an optimist, a believer in the ethical bend of the human heart, a believer in the mind's disgust with fraud and its appetite for truth, a believer in the ferocity of beauty. So, from my point of view, which is that of a storyteller, I see your life as already artful, waiting, just waiting and ready for you to make it art.”

Photo: Toni Morrison delivers the 2004 commencement address to a packed crowd at Wellesley College.