Updated: Aug 7, 2019
Maya Angelou made me fall in love with words, but Toni Morrison gave me a connection to literature.
As long as I can remember, I have loved reading. Getting lost in a good book was more satisfying than watching the latest movie. When I was young, my mother used to take my books as a punishment. I read because I enjoyed a good story; however, it wasn't until reading the Bluest Eye when I was 10 or 11 years old that I felt truly connected to a character and her story. To be honest, I had nothing in common with Pecola Breedlove so as a preteen I didn't understand why I felt such an attachment to her. When I was about 22, I re-read the book. It was then that my appreciation for Ms. Morrison truly manifested.
As a adult (a young/inexperienced adult) , I was able to appreciate that my connection to Pecola Breedlove spoke to the talent of Toni Morrison as an author. The way she told Pecola's story is what created my attachment to her despite us not have anything in common.
The majority of people are most familiar with Morrison's work Beloved as it was turned into a feature film produced Harpo Films and Touchstone Pictures but her body of work is expansive. She was a writer of novels, plays and various articles. She was a educator and activist in her own right. The winner of a Pulitzer Prize in Fiction and a Nobel Prize for Literature, Toni Morrison was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama in 2012.
Ms. Morrison lived a life that was able to inspire many and for me I am glad to say that I am one of those people.