What's Toni Morrison's purpose for writing "Song of Solomon"?

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bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Morrison says she writes in order to show her readers the viewpoint of African Americans. She thinks "black people have a story, and that story has to be heard." She categorizes her novels as "village literature" because they reflect "old values" and not "urban values". In her effort to restore the heritage of black culture, Morrison uses black oral history and myth. This novel begins on Morrison's birth date and mostly takes place in the 1950s and 1960s. She includes actual historical events in her novel that centers around racism, segregation, and the civil rights movement. The reader is able to witness these events through the characters Morrison creates. Regardless of the color of your skin, you can empathize with the characters in the novel. Anyone who isn't African American can understand to some degree what it was like during this historical time, and that is no small feat. Morrison has a gift for capturing the language and experience of African Americans that few other authors are able to do. Critics of Song of Solomon said that "the authors perceptions are human, rather than racist, and whites who read her will feel something--will live something--of what it means to be born black in America."

Go to the links below to read more about this gifted author and all of her works.