Toni Morrison

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Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison was born Chloe Anthony Wofford in Lorain, Ohio, on Feb. 18, 1931, where her parents had moved to escape the problems of southern racism; Morrison’s father, George Wofford, was a welder and told her folktales of the black community, transferring his African-American heritage to another generation (Williams). According to Scott Williams, a professor at State University of New York at Buffalo, in 1949, she entered Howard University in Washington, D.C., America’s most distinguished black college; there, she changed her name from Chloe to Toni, explaining once that people found Chloe too difficult to pronounce.

While teaching at Howard University and caring for her two children, Morrison wrote her first novel, The Bluest Eye (1970); this book was partly based on Morrison’s story written for a writer’s group in 1966 (Williams). According to Williams, then she wrote seven other novels: Sula, Song of Solomon, Tar Baby, Beloved, Paradise, Love, and A Mercy. I read Morrison’s speech called “Cinderella’s Stepsisters” and the Bluest Eye novel. These two pieces of writing show the nature of cultural conflict as it happens through race, gender, and minority status, and how they interfere in either a real person’s or a character’s life.

Toni Morrison presented a speech entitled “Cinderella’s Stepsisters” to a graduating class at Barnard College. In the course of her speech, Morrison parallels the stepsisters in the fairytale “Cinderella” to many women of power today; Morrison begins by describing her discontent with how the fairytale character, Cinderella, is treated by her mother and stepsisters in the story (“Stepsisters” 287). Morrison’s compares “Cinderella” to how women suffer from pain and are tortured (“Stepsisters” 287). Morrison is disturbed that “Cinderella” contains a group of women who join together to oppress another woman (“Stepsisters” 287). She feels that this is a horrid example of how a female-to-female relationship should be...
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