[Congressional Record Volume 140, Number 20 (Tuesday, March 1, 1994)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]

[Congressional Record: March 1, 1994]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

                        TRIBUTE TO TONI MORRISON


                           HON. MAXINE WATERS

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                         Tuesday, March 1, 1994

  Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, I want today to pay tribute to a richly 
talented African-American writer, the first black woman to receive the 
Nobel Prize for literature.
  I am speaking, of course, of Toni Morrison. This daughter of Alabama 
sharecroppers and granddaughter of a slave has tapped the complex vein 
of the black experience in six novels, beginning with ``The Bluest 
Eye'' of 1970 and running through her most recent work of the last 
year, ``Jazz.'' She has, in the words of one critic, welded the 
scholarship of the academy with the craftsmanship of the publishing 
house and the rage of the outsider.
  A graduate of Howard University, Toni Morrison is the finest black 
novelist since Ralph Ellison and James Baldwin. She is the first 
American-born winner since John Steinbeck in 1962.
  More than anything else, Toni Morrison has opened a window onto the 
world of the African-American woman, much talked about in literature, 
often talked to but only rarely allowed to speak in her own voice. Toni 
Morrison said it well when she said she was inspired--and I quote--``by 
the huge silences in literature, things that had never been 
articulated, printed, or imagined and they were the silences about 
black girls, black women.''
  Mr. Speaker, I offer my hearty congratulations to Toni Morrison, 
Nobel Laureate in Literature for 1993. She has given generously of 
herself to all of us through her works. She richly deserves this 
highest of literary honors.