Black History--Women of Courage: Toni Morrison - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

02/24/04

Black History--Women of Courage: Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison Toni Morrison
 

From the time Toni Morrison was a young child, she displayed an early interest in literature. That love landed this woman of courage in the history books. Morrison was born Chloe Anthony Wofford. Since most people couldn't pronounce her first name, she changed it to Toni, a shorter version of her middle name.

She is perhaps one of the most celebrated contemporary American novelists. Her career is filled with firsts. Morrison became the first African American to win the Nobel Prize in literature for her novel Jazz. When asked about the honor, Morrison said her work was inspired by huge silences in literature, things that have never been articulated, printed or imagined and they were the silences about black girls and black women.

The accolades did not stop there. Morrison also won a Pulitzer prize for her novel Beloved, which was adapted for film. In 1981 Morrison became the first black woman to be featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine.

Through the years she's worked as a senior editor for Random House Publishing and taught at many universities. She is now the Robert F. Goheen professor of the Council of the Humanities at Princeton University, making her the first black female writer to hold a named chair at an Ivy League university.

Toni Morrison, a woman of courage.

Reported by: Dawn Baker, dbaker@wtoc.com

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