It’s been 84 years since Toni Morrison was born Chloe Wofford in Lorain, Ohio. So what words do you use to celebrate one of the most important writers of our time? Not many. Instead, you take some time out of your day to read one of her lesser known works, Recitatif, and look at photos of how fierce she’s been throughout her lifetime. Enjoy!



Morrison, then going by her given name Chloe Wofford, was Senior Class Treasurer of Loraine High School in 1949. Photo: Lorain City History.


Walking with Angela Davis on March 28, 1974. Photo: © Jill Krementz; all right reserved.


Morrison (second from the left) pictured alongside June Jordan, Alice Walker, Ntozake Shange, Lori Sharpe and Audrey Edwards at a black women’s writing group in 1977. Photo: Harvard’s Schlesinger Library.

MorrisonRandomHouse.jpgAt her desk at Random House, where she worked as an editor  and played a pivitol role in bringing black literature to mainstream American audiences by editing work from Angela Davis, Toni Cade Bambara, Gayle Jones, and Henry Dumas. Photo: © Jill Krementz; all right reserved.

MorrisonFree.jpgPhoto: © Jill Krementz; all right reserved.

Station.jpgOn her way to Yale on April 14, 1974, where she taught creative writing. Photo: © Jill Krementz; all right reserved. 


Photo: © Jill Krementz; all right reserved.


Photo: © Jill Krementz; all right reserved.


Photo: © Jill Krementz; all right reserved.


At her home in Spring Valley, NY. Photo: © Jill Krementz; all right reserved.

Slade.jpgApril 17, 1978: At home in Spring Valley, NY with her younger son, Slade, to whom she dedicated her most recent novel “Home.” Photo: © Jill Krementz; all right reserved.

Award.jpgAt the awards ceremony for the 1978 National Book Critics Circle Award for her book, “Song of Solomon.” Photo: © Jill Krementz; all right reserved.

Morrison enjoys the view of San Francisco from the 24th floor of the Fairmont Hotel on the night the Lorraine Hansberry Theater declared November 21 “Toni Morrison Day.” Photo: Creative Commons/ Kingsley Willis.