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CHICAGO, August 6, 2019—The Chicago Teachers Union issued the following statement today regarding the passing of legendary Nobel Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning author and educator Toni Morrison:

“There is no public education without a treasure and an educator like Toni Morrison, who gave life to Black consciousness through her words and her influence on generations of writers.

“As she ascended to professional heights most of us can only dream of, she remained, simply, ‘Toni,’ with her work rooted in the struggle of her people. She was a Nobel Laureate, and a Pulitzer and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, but also a matriarch of countless Black families—real and adopted—uplifting a culture that spanned spirituals in the fields of the Deep South to beauty shops at 87th and Stony. Her mere existence was the embodiment of the soul of Black folk as she gave complexity to the American experience in all of its splendor and suffering.

“Toni Morrison did not live to write. She wrote as she lived, from her early works as a single mother to recognition as one of the greatest artists in American history. Our union sends condolences to her friends, family and colleagues. We are blessed to have been among the many lives she so greatly touched.”