Toni Morrison

             Toni Morrison was born in the steel town of Lorain. Ohio on February 18, 1931, her name at that time was Chloe Anthony Wofford. Morrison was the second of four children. Her family was made up of migrant sharecroppers on both sides. Her parent's George and Ramah Willis Wofford moved north to Ohio to escape racism and find better economic opportunities. Morrison was born into a very proud family her father worked and new many trades including welding and construction. George kept three jobs at the same time during Morrison's childhood. He took great pride in his appearance and work always being sure to be well dressed and at his work each time he welded a perfect seam he would also weld his name into the side of the ship. George would tell Morrison folk tales of the black community, making sure to transfer some of his African-American heritage onto her. She also gained from her father a slight distrust for whites she says "My father was a racist. As a child in Georgia, he received a shocking impression of adult white people, and for the rest of his life felt he was justified in despising all white, and that they were not justified in despising him." Morrison's mother was a church going woman who sang in the choir.
             Lorain was a small industrial town populated with immigrant Europeans, Mexicans and Southern blacks intertwined in the city. Morrison attended an integrated school in Lorain. In the first grade she was the only black student in the class, she was also the only student who could read. She was a great student who hoped to one day be a ballerina dancer like her favorite Maria Tallchief. She loved to read everything from Dostoyevski to Gustave Flaubert. She was friends with many of the white students in her school and it was not until she started dating that she really experienced racism first hand. Morrison graduated with honors in 1949 from Lorain High School.

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Toni Morrison. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 07:04, February 02, 2023, from