This study aims to discuss Toni Morrison’s historical writing of the Black family in view of Culture Variant perspectives. Morrison explores the historical facts that the Black families were vulnerable not only to the oppression and violence of their white owners during slavery but also to the hard lines of social-economical segregation that continued long after the Emancipation Proclamation of 1964. However, Morrison lays out a vision for the restoration of traditional family values, such as cohesion, interrelationship, generational harmony among family members.
In The Bluest Eye and Song of Solomon, Morrison represents the Black families who are collapsed, disorganized, and cracked in terms of structure and function. While the Breedloves in The Bluest Eye are a low class family who have not been able to escape from poverty, low status, and racial isolation, the Deads in Song of Solomon are an upper middle class family who have become rich by blindly following whites’ capitalistic ideas and values. Despite having contrastively different reasons, both families are disconnected, ruptured, and inter-isolated in terms of parent-child relationships, or family ties. In this context, Morrison casts a critical eye on Cholly Breedlove’s dangerous freedom and Macon Dead’s patriarchal power. Finally, in Song of Solomon, Morrison shows the restoration of the Deads through Milkman Dead’s travels from a Northern city to Southern cities in the United States. During these travels, Milkman discovers the Deads’ historical-spiritual presence and values. The family information he gains from his travels leads his father to go back to not only the root of the Deads but also to the values of family relationship.