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Toni Morrison: Sustaining Community: Book Reading & Discussion

April 30, 2022 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

The second event of the “Toni Morrison: Sustaining Community” program presented by the Department of English of the Florida State University centers on Morrison’s God Help the Child. Dr. Natalie King-Pedroso, co-editor of a collection of essays on God Help the Child, will lead a dialogue about diversity, inclusion, and acceptance, focusing on communal healing as a central theme.

Bride, the novel’s protagonist, is a modern African-American woman of the twenty-first century. By all accounts, she is a success story in the fashion industry; however, the superficiality and materialism associated with her profession also guide the manner in which she conducts her affairs in her private life. Her rootlessness and sense of detachment from the ancestor, folk origins, and heritage also render her vulnerable as she literally and metaphorically regresses to the state of a child. Throughout the novel, Bride’s foils-Sweetness, Booker, Brooklyn, Steve, Evelyn, Rain, and Queen Olive-reveal her strengths and vulnerabilities during her arduous journey to self and home. During the book discussion, attendees will explore the ways Morrison returns to her landmark essay, “Rootedness: The Ancestor as Foundation” (1984), utilizing similar themes: the value of the ancestor, the “participation of the reader,” the significance of the oral tradition, and the role of the community. The discussion will also address themes of child-rearing, “adultification bias,” naming, gender, the natural world, race, colorism, education, folkways, Benitez-Rojo’s P/plantation, Braxton’s “outraged mother,” journey motif, intersectionality, culture bearers, and healing-personal and communal.

This program series is funded in part through a Greater Good: Humanities in Academia grant in partnership with Florida State University.

Event Details

Event Date/time:

April 30, 2022 @ 10:00 am -
April 30, 2022 @ 12:00 pm


Presenter Information:
Dr. Natalie King-Pedroso, Associate Professor, Department of English and Modern Languages, Florida A&M University
Event Fee:
Event Type:

Event Contact:

Candace Ward
(850) 242-5502

Event Venue:

Florida People’s Advocacy Center
603 N. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Tallahassee, FL 32301
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