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Biography of Toni Morrison Essay

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Toni Morrison was born Chloe Ardelia Wofford on February 18th, 1931, in the small town of Lorain, Ohio. She was the second born of her four siblings that her mother, Ramah Willis, and father, George Wofford, had. Morrison grew up during the Great Depression, which had begun in 1929. Growing up, Morrison heard stories about the violence that took place against African Americans. Both sets of Morrison’s grandparents were a part of the “Great Migration”, which took place during the early 1900s. Her maternal grandparents left the city of Greenville, Alabama, in 1910 due to the loss of their farm. As for her paternal family, they left Georgia and headed north the same year as her maternal family to escape sharecropping. Chloe’s childhood was filled with African American Folklore, music, rituals and myths. Like Morrison’s grandmother, Willis for example, would keep a dream journal which she tried to decode each dream symbol into winning numbers. Throughout her childhood her father and grandmother helped develop a love of storytelling. She would mainly hear about the violence that took place against the African Americans, but Chloe’s mother warned her against the hatred of whites. During her early education, she went to an integrated school. She was the only African American student in her first grade class, but was still one of the best students in her class. Her success in school would not stop! She excelled in high school where she graduated with honors from Lorain High School in 1949. She then went on to Howard University in Washington DC, where she majored in English, and continued to succeed academically. During her time at Howard, she then changed her name to “Toni” because many people were not able to pronounce her actual name. C...


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...by others across the world for her literary contributions! For those who have't heard of her, they need to wake up from that rock they're under and get to know Toni Morrison the legend!



Works Cited

Coss, Lauren, ED. How to analyze the works of Toni Morrison. North Mankoto, MN: Abdo Publishing Company, 2013. Print. Essential Critiques.
Smith, Valerie, ED. African American Writers Second Edition. New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2001. Print. The Scribner Writers Series.
Teisch, Jessica. “Toni Morrison”. Bookmarks. Sept./Oct. 2003: 18-23. Sibs Renaissance. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.
“Toni Morrison”. Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Biography in context. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.
Williams, Michael, W, ED. The African American Encyclopedia Second Edition. Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish Corporation, 2001. Print. The African American Encyclopedia Vol. 6.


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