1 week ago
The incomparable Toni Morrison has passed away. She was 88 years old.
Morrison was a beloved and celebrated novelist, essayist, editor, teacher and Professor emeritus at Princeton University. She passed away Monday night, according to the media outlet Vulture.
Born Chloe Anthony Wofford on February 18,1931 in Lorain, Ohio, Morrison was the second oldest of four children, born to her parents Ramah and George Wofford. She displayed an interest in storytelling early as a result of all the folklore and tales she grew up hearing in her family. She went on to study at Howard University and graduated in 1953, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. While at Howard, she decided to change her name to Toni, since people at school had a hard time pronouncing her birth name. She went on to receive her master’s degree in English from Cornell University in 1955. She married Harold Morrison in 1958, an architect from Jamaica, and gave birth to two sons, Harold Ford Morrison in 1961 and Slade Kevin Morrison in 1964. The couple divorced after six years of marriage. She had a long teaching career, serving as a professor at several universities including Texas Southern University, Howard, Yale, and Princeton, where she taught up until 2006.
Morrison is known for her poetic writings which all center exclusively around African American life. Her first book, The Bluest Eye, is about the constructs of perceived beauty in society for Black girls, and is still receiving notoriety over 30 years later. She has received a litany of accolades and awards including a National Book Award (Sula, 1974) National Book Critics Circle Award (Song of Solomon, 1977), and a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1988 for her best-selling and critically acclaimed novel Beloved. She was the first Black woman across the nation to receive the literary honor.
Beyond a doubt, Morrison had an uncanny ability to shine a light on Black life in a way that was magical and surreal. She was able to bring life to characters in a way that made the reader listen, all while discussing themes of colorism, racism, misogyny, slavery and more. She amassed a body of work...