In Celebration of Toni Morrison: A Gesture of Love and Reflection
On the occasion of novelist Toni Morrison’s birthday on February 18, people from all over the world are invited to participate in a gesture of love and reflection; an intentional proclamation to honor a woman whose body of literary work is celebrated the world over.
Submit your Tributes
As part of this unique celebration, we invite you to send us a recording. This recording could be the reading of a favorite passage from one of Morrison’s writings or speeches, or a personal memory or feeling. What you decide to send in is up to you. Your submission will become part of the larger audio component put together by the organizers.
The Story Behind the Gesture
Retired Professor of Religion A.G. Miller and Professor of Studio Art and Africana Studies Johnny Coleman discuss the purpose of the gesture, a means to recognize the significance and global impact of Toni Morrison and her literary contributions.
Sponsors and Collaborators
‘‘In Celebration of Toni Morrison: A Gesture of Love and Reflection,’’ is made possible in part by the Office of the President, the Toni Morrison Society, Department of Africana Studies, Mary Church Terrell Main Library, Center for Information Technology, Oberlin Center for Technologically Enhanced Teaching, and the Office of Donor Relations.
Bench by the Road
‘‘There is no place you or I can go, to think about or not think about, to summon the presences of, or recollect the absences of slaves; nothing that reminds us of the ones who made the journey and of those who did(not) make it. There is no suitable memorial or plaque or wreath or wall or park or skyscraper lobby. There’s no 300-foot tower. There’s no small bench by the road. There is not even a tree scored, an initial that I can visit or you can visit in Charleston or Savannah or New York or Providence, or better still, on the banks of the Mississippi. ...’’
-from Melcher Book Acceptance Speech