Toni Morrison to be Honored in Thanksgiving Marathon Reading, Posthumous Induction to National Women’s Hall of Fame

Monday, Nov 23, 2020

World-renowned writer and Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, the Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Humanities, Emeritus, at Princeton University, who died on Aug. 5, 2019, will be honored in a Thanksgiving weekend marathon reading of her novel “Song of Solomon” and a posthumous induction into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

Literacy Partners marathon reading, Nov. 27-29 Song of Solomon

Literacy Partners will hold its Toni Morrison Marathon as part of its Social and Literary series, created this fall to reflect the organization’s focus on racial justice, human dignity and equity for Black Americans. Over three days, Nov. 27-29, 15 prominent authors will each read a chapter of Morrison’s novel “Song of Solomon,” introduced by three notable writers and literary figures. More information and a schedule of readers is available online.

Literacy Partners is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing low-income parents of color, and those whose lives are fundamentally shaped by the immigrant experience, with the literacy and language skills necessary to create success for themselves and a better future for their children.

Many of the participating authors and introducers have ties to Princeton, as noted below.

Participating authors

Hilton Als

Hilton Als

Photo by Brigitte Lacombe

  • Hilton Als — Princeton’s inaugural Presidential Visiting Scholar 2020-21, who will teach the course “Yaass Queen: Gay Men, Straight Women, and the Literature, Art and Film of Hagdom,” crosslisted in creative writing, gender and sexuality studies and theater, in spring 2021); participated in the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series in Nov. 2019.
  • Margaret Atwood
  • Brit Bennett
  • Edwidge Danticat — participated in the Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series in March 2016.
  • Jennifer Egan
  • Louise Erdrich
  • Yaa Gyasi
  • Tayari Jones
  • Robin Coste Lewis — participated in the Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series in Oct. 2018; and the Black Poetry Conference Feb. 2019.
  • Lorrie Moore — past guest faculty in the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Creative Writing
  • Tommy Orange
  • Jason Reynolds
  • Ocean Vuong — participated in the CK Williams reading in April 2016; and the Princeton Poetry Festival Jan. 2015.
  • Jesmyn Ward
  • Jacqueline Woodson

Introducers

  • Lisa Lucas
  • Andrea Davis Pinkney
  • Kevin Young — participated in the Black Poetry Conference in Feb. 2019; was the 2014-15 Holmes Visiting Professor in the Program in Creative Writing and presented the 2014-15 Holmes Lecture.
Women’s Hall of Fame virtual induction ceremony, Dec. 10

On Dec. 10 in a virtual event, Morrison will be inducted posthumously into the National Women’s Hall of Fame (NWHF), along with five other Black women — including singer and activist Aretha Franklin, who received an honorary degree from Princeton in 2012. The other inductees are Mary Church Terrell, suffragist and civil rights activist; Barbara Hillary, adventurer, nurse and climate activist; Barbara Rose Johns Powell, activist and librarian; and Henrietta Lacks, medical research revolutionizer. More information is available online.

Featured speakers are Angela Davis, author, activist, scholar and 2019 NWHF inductee; and Deborah Turner, MD, JD, League of Women Voters president and 2013 Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame inductee. Singer Amanda Mena will perform.

The Virtual Induction Series, which kicks off on Dec. 10, marks a commitment by the NWHF “to use this otherwise tumultuous year to innovate the way we operate, and reflect on our past.” The series will honor women posthumously who were deceased prior to the establishment of the NWHF, overlooked in their lifetime or passed away before they were able to be inducted.

[Originally published on November 23, 2020 via the Office of Communications]

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