Writer of Color: Toni Morrison

Photo from O Magazine

Quick Facts on POC Writer Toni Morrison

  • Born on February 18, 1931 in Lorain, Ohio
  • True name is Chloe Anthony Wofford
  • Attended Howard University and Cornell University
  • Won a Pulitzer and a Nobel Peace Prize in Literature

Biography of POC Writer Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison is a highly accomplished woman of color. As one of the most decorated, celebrated and prolific African American writers, she has created stories that have become integral to our school curriculum and POC literature. 

Morrison grew up in the Midwest with a family that loved their black culture. Her childhood was filled with songs, music, stories and folktales.

During her adolescence, she widely read works by Jane Austen, Leo Tolstoy and Gustave Flaubert. In 1953, she attended Howard University for her B.A. Then, she received her M.A. from Cornell University in 1955.

Morrison worked as an editor at Random House. Eventually as she climbed the ranks, she not only became the only African American at the company with her stature, but she also helped African American writers publish their children’s books.

Later, she taught creative writing at Princeton University from 1989 until 2006 when she retired.

Before You Read POC Writer Toni Morrison

Morrison is uncompromising about Black identity. She believes that as an African American writer, her responsibility is to the Black community, to show what is and what it means to be Black in this world. She works to deliver a clear picture of what Blackness is to the reader of any color. And for that, she has always been appreciated and well received. 

To be honest, CUNY Brooklyn has a way better page detailing Toni Morrison and her influence on Black literature. Please read it here. It is excellent.

Quotes from POC Writer Toni Morrison

“Don’t tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief’s wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear’s caul.”

“If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.”

“Make a difference about something other than yourselves.”

“The ability of writers to imagine what is not the self, to familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar, is the test of their power.”

“No one ever talks about the moment you found that you were white. Or the moment you found out you were black. That’s a profound revelation. The minute you find that out, something happens. You have to renegotiate everything.”

Works by POC Writer Toni Morrison

1970 The Bluest Eye

1973 Sula

1977 Song of Solomon

1981 Tar Baby

1987 Beloved

1992 Jazz

1998 Paradise

2003 Love

2008 A Mercy

2012 Home

2015 God Help the Child


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