This Black History month, I would like to feature Toni Morrison, for her literary excellence. Toni Morrison is a Nobel Prize Winner, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Morrison is an American writer noted for her examination of Black experience (particularly Black female experience) within the Black community. Let’s take a moment to honor this literary genius this, black history month.
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Toni Morrison for Black History month
Toni Morrison, original name Chloe Anthony Wofford, (born February 18, 1931, Lorain, Ohio, U.S.—died August 5, 2019, Bronx, New York), American writer noted for her examination of Black experience (particularly Black female experience) within the Black community. She received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993.
Morrison grew up in the American Midwest in a family that possessed an intense love of and appreciation for, Black culture. Storytelling, songs, and folktales were a deeply formative part of her childhood. She attended Howard University (B.A., 1953) and Cornell University (M.A., 1955). In 1965 Morrison became a fiction editor at Random House, where she worked for a number of years.
Toni Morrison The Bluest Eyes
Morrison’s first book, The Bluest Eye (1970), is a novel of initiation concerning a victimized adolescent Black girl who is obsessed by white standards of beauty and longs to have blue eyes. This book was my introduction to Toni Morrison. I loved this book. I loved the character, how Morrison showed a poor black girl struggling not only with her looks but with becoming a young lady, and wanting to be beautiful like her white blue eye dolls. At the time when I read this book a lot of black women were putting in blue contact lenses including my daughter. This book really brought it home and allowed black women to start loving our skin, eyes, hair and black features.
In 1973 a second novel, Sula, was published; it examines (among other issues) the dynamics of friendship and the expectations for conformity within the Black community.
Song of Solomon (1977) is told by a male narrator in search of his identity; its publication brought Morrison to national attention. Tar Baby (1981), set on a Caribbean island, explores conflicts of race, class, and sex.
Toni Morrison’s Beloved
Toni Morrison became mainstream with her critically acclaimed book called Beloved (1987), which won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction, is based on the true story of a runaway slave who, at the point of recapture, kills her infant daughter in order to spare her a life of slavery. A film adaptation of the novel was released in 1998 and starred Oprah Winfrey. The again was powerful for me. The character of Beloved was played to perfection by Thandiwe Newton and showcases how Sethe’s guilt, played by Oprah Winfrey can reincarnate and haunt us in this life.
In 1992 Morrison released Jazz, a story of violence and passion set in New York City’s Harlem during the 1920s. Subsequent novels were Paradise (1998), a richly detailed portrait of a Black utopian community in Oklahoma, and Love (2003), an intricate family story that reveals the myriad facets of love and its ostensible opposite. A Mercy (2008) deals with slavery in 17th-century America. In the redemptive Home (2012), a traumatized Korean War veteran encounters racism after returning home and later overcomes apathy to rescue his sister. In God Help the Child (2015), Morrison chronicled the ramifications of child abuse and neglect through the tale of Bride, a Black girl with dark skin who is born to light-skinned parents.
Toni Morrison and the Black American Experience
It is great to showcase Toni Morrison’s work for, Black History month, because The central theme of Morrison’s novels is the, Black American experience; in an unjust society, her characters struggle to find themselves and their cultural identity. Her use of fantasy, her sinuous poetic style, and her rich interweaving of the mythic gave her stories great strength and texture. In 2010 Morrison was made an officer of the French Legion of Honour. Two years later she was awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom. Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (2019) is a documentary about her life and career.