Toni Morrison was born on February, 18, 1931 in Lorain, Ohio. She is the second of four children in a working-class, African-American family.
Her maternal grandparents, Ardelia and John Solomon Willis, had left Greenville, Alabama, around 1910 after they lost their farm.
Both families settled in the steel-mill town of Lorain on Lake Erie.
Morrison's childhood was filled with the African American folklore, music, rituals, and myths which were later to characterize her prose.
Her family was, as Morrison says, "intimate with the supernatural" and frequently used visions and signs to predict the future.