HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WSAV) – Nobel prize-winning author Toni Morrison died Monday night, leaving behind a lasting legacy that goes far beyond impressive writing.
Morrison brought multiculturalism and African American history to the global spotlight through her literary works and captured the admiration of many, including Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama.
A piece of Morrison’s legacy lives on right here at home. Hilton Head Island is one of 20 locations in the world chosen to be a part of the Bench by the Road Project, an initiative of the Toni Morrison Society.
The Bench by the Road Project was launched in 2006 on Morrison’s 75th birthday. The project is named after something Morrison said during an interview with World Magazine. She was discussing the lack of historical markers that remember the lives of African American slaves. She said, “There is no suitable memorial or plaque or wreath or wall or park or skyscraper lobby. There is no 300-foot tower. There’s no small bench by the road,”.
The bench, the eighth one to be placed, was put at Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park to commemorate the founding of Mitchelville, South Carolina, according to the park’s website. The town was a place where African Americans built social and cultural institutions in the face of adversity before the Emancipation Proclamation was issued.