The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Black History month-Author’s works detail lives of black families

Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison

By Ashley Cole/reporter

Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison

The field of writing is full of many aspiring writers, want-to-be writers and full-fledged writers … all searching for that one novel to make them acceptable in literary circles, each believing that hers will be Oprah Winfrey’s next book selection.

One writer who seems to have escaped from the masses of writers is Toni Morrison, a full-fledged novelist and historian of the black race.

Born Chloe Anthony Wofford Feb. 18, 1931, in Lorrain, Ohio, Morrison had a love for reading and writing at a young age, enjoying the works of Leo Tolstoy and Jane Austen.

“ If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it,” she said in her biography for Beloved.

Majoring in English, Morrison received her bachelor’s degree from Howard University in 1953. She later attended graduate school at Cornell University and earned her master’s degree in humanities in 1955.

After she completed her education, she taught at several universities including Texas Southern University in Houston and her alma mater, Howard.

She wrote her first novel The Bluest Eye in 1970 while teaching at Howard. Considered a significant piece of African-American literature, The Bluest Eye addresses the self-image of black women who are engrossed with images and influences of white culture and celebrates their beauty.

Morrison soon became an editor for Random House Publishing Company promoting the works of black authors. She edited The Black Book (1974), an anthology of works illustrating the history of black America.

Her next work, The Song of Solomon (1977), won the National Book Critics Circle Award. This novel details the history of the generations of a man’s family dating back to the Civil War.

Beloved (1987), a slave narrative, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988.

Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993, making her the first black woman to receive the award.

“ But what is most wonderful for me, personally, is to know that the Prize at last has been awarded to an African-American,” she said at the award presentation. “Winning as an American is very special—but winning as a black American is a knockout.”

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian