When you think of famous black writers or poets, the name Toni Morrison has to be near top of your list. I was surprised to learn that Ms. Morrison was a college professor, and she spent time here in the Capital Region.

On February 18, 1931 Ms. Morrison was born in Lorain, Ohio. Her birth name was Chloe Ardelia Wofford. In 1958 she married Harold Morrison and became the famous author that we know of today.

Toni Morrison graduated from Howard University with a Bachelor's Degree, and from Cornell University where she earned a Master’s Degree.

It was during her time at Howard University that Ms. Morrison first experienced the lifestyle of segregation. It was in DC that she first encountered segregated restaurants and buses. Her time in DC set the foundation for her writings about racism in this country.

Some of her most notable work include ‘The Bluest Eye’, ‘Solomon’, ‘Tar Baby’ and ‘Beloved’. She received the Pulitzer Prize for ‘Beloved’, and became the first African-American woman to ever receive the prestigious award.

Mrs. Morrison received many accolades throughout her life including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Humanities Medal, the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

Toni Morrison spent five years in the 1980s teaching at the University of Albany. She taught writing while there and inspired many novelists.

After her five-year stay in Albany, she began teaching at Princeton University until she retired in 2006.

Toni Morrison died on August 5, 2019 in Bronx, New York. If she were still alive, February 18 would mark her 90th birthday.

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