Toni Morrison

Staci Braddock

Toni Morrison was the first African-American woman to win a Nobel Prize for literature in 1993. She won a Pulitzer Prize as well as the American Book Award for her book beloved in 1988. President Obama awarded her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.
Morrison’s life started as Chloe Ardelia Wofford, on February 18th, 1931 in Lorain Ohio. Her parents were of the working-class and were both from the south. She recalls stories of how her father had two black business men on his street lynched and how that traumatized her and her father. A defying moment of her childhood was when she was only two and her parent’s landlord lit their apartment on fire when they couldn’t pay rent. Rather than wallow in their loss her parents laughed and joked about the situation, which shaped her into the person she became in her own adult life. Morrison’s parents made sure she acknowledged her rich heritage while telling her African stories or songs, which led to her interest in reading and writing. She began to read for enjoyment at a young age and valued authors like Jane Austen and Leo Tolstoy. She went to Howard university in D.C, which was he first place she experienced segregation in blatant racism. She went on to earn a masters of art at Cornell. After college she was a editor in multiple cities for various writers, but mostly writers of fiction.
Morrison’s first fiction story she consciously worked on was “The Bluest Eye” which she wrote about an African-American girl that wanted to have blue eyes. This was the first of many literary conquests such as her first play and multiple novels.
She has continued to be an inspiration and role model for young writers globally.