Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison

From her chldhood days in Lorain, Ohio, Toni Morrison learned from her parents, Ramah Willis Wofford and George Wofford, the importance of racial pride but also the tragedy that can result when a black person internalizes alien, often white, values. These lessons surface repeatedly in Morrisons first novel The Blues Eye and in many of her other works.

Morrison was born Chole Anthony Wofford on February 18, 1931, to parents who were very confident in themselves and their race. They stressed the importance of an education, which is reflected in the fact that Morrison was the only child entering her first grade class who could read. Her love of books continued as she devoured the works of European writers, including Jane Austen, Gustav Flaubert and Leo Tolstoy, as an adolescent.
After graduating from high school in Lorain with honors, Morrison earned a B.A. In English from Howard University. Two pivotal events for Morrison occurred at Howard: she changed her name to Toni because many people could not pronounce Chloe, and she became acquainted with black life in the South while touring with the Howard University Player. In 1955, Morrison earned an M.A. In English. Again, events at Howard were pivotal as she

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