Yesterday was Dr. Toni Morrison’s birthday. Professor Daniel Black introduced me to the author in my English course during my brief stint at Clark Atlanta University in 2004. Until then the only black author’s books I read belonged to Maya Angelou (whom I was utterly obsessed with in my teens). Dr. Black assigned the class to read Morrison’s novel, The Bluest Eye. I remember how excited I was to be introduced to another black author…another black WOMAN mind you!
Since I didn’t know the city well, I asked a couple of my girlfriends where I could find a local bookstore. After hearing which book I was purchasing, one of the girls responded “I read The Bluest Eye in middle school. That’s not a college-level book.” She almost shut down my excitement with her arrogance, but I learned to look past people like that. She had no idea that I came from a predominately white high school and was only introduced to authors such as William Golding, Harper Lee, and James Patterson. I just so happen to come across Maya Angelou’s work when I was rummaging for random books at my hometown library.