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"Celebrating Toni: A Memorial in Her Own Words"

This event was hatched spontaneously after the announcement of Ms. Morrison’s death on August 6. As is often the case with anyone who has had a deep and lasting impact in our lives, there was an outpouring of tributes and responses, especially on social media.

Robin MacArthur, writer and founder of Word House shared, “This time felt different. Toni’s death, in the midst of our unbearable news feeds (which doesn’t need repeated here), felt auspicious, harrowing and unbearable. The loss of Toni Morrison in this world means no more Toni Morrison novels, yes, but it also is the loss of one of our greatest public voices on the vital matters of racism in America, injustice, love, hope and the power of the literary imagination.”

Amid the many tributes, Desmond Peeples—writer and founder/editor of Mount Island—shared a post mourning the loss of Toni Morrison and MacArthur suggested, “We should organize something.” Several messages later, MacArthur, Peeples, Jessica Dolan, and Shanta Lee Gander discussed and planned this local memorial and celebration.

How could we survive this era of terror and violence and a rise in white supremacy without Toni Morrison’s bedrock and ferocious wisdom? Who would we turn to?

It will perhaps be through remembering her strength of her words, depth of her insights, and continuing to spread the insights that she has passed onto all of us through her literary legacy.

Community members will read selected pieces by Ms. Morrison and discuss the influence she has had on their work. The floor will then open up to the audience; the organizers invite attendees to bring their favorite Morrison paragraphs, quotes, and/or thoughts to share.

The reading portion of the event will be followed by a dance party.

This event is about celebrating the life of one of America’s iconic literary figures through this gathering of words and music. We hope you can join us!

Event Date
Saturday, September 14, 2019
Event time
7:00 PM

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