Biography Of Toni Morrison Essay

1475 words - 6 pages

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. Chloe was also a member of the Howard University Players theater group. She then would make several tours to the South with the Players Club, where she would learn firsthand of the struggles that the blacks faced during that time. In 1953, she would receive her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a minor in classics. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree at Howard University, she then went to earn her Master of Arts degree in English from Cornell University in 1955. After earning her Master’s degree at Cornell, she would receive the opportunity to teach English at Texas Southern University, which she would teach there from 1955-1957. In 1957 she then would return to Howard University to be a part of their faculty. After her return to the university she then met her husband Harold Morrison, which they would get married in the year 1958. Three years after their marriage the Morrisons would have their first born son Harold Ford in the year of 1961. During that time she continued to teach and take care of her family, and she also joined a small writer’s group to get away from her unhappy marriage. During the pregnancy of her second child she left her husband, and left her job at the university, and took her son with her on...

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