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Toni Morrison: Sustaining Community
April 22, 2022 @ 6:30 pm - 10:00 pm
“Toni Morrison: Sustaining Community” is a three-part program being presented by the Department of English of the Florida State University. Celebrating the life and work of Toni Morrison, they are hosting a double-feature film screening on April 22, 2022 to kick off the program.
The first film, Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (dir. Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, 2019), presents a comprehensive and contemplative memorial of the author’s life and body of works. The impact of Toni Morrison’s novels on the American literary canon is immeasurable. Greenfield-Sanders makes points to highlight that such defining characteristics of her prose as her intentional decision to center the experiences of Black girls, to flatly reject the primacy of white perspectives as the master narrative, and to find the epic majesty in the lives of everyday Black folks collectively serve as part of a radical means of writing through pain and charting new pathways towards love, freedom, and joy. Moreover, in examining her explorations of the boundaries of language and emotional affect, the film posits that Morrison’s writing offers a true “Emancipation Proclamation for the English Language,” defiantly using her characters’ voices to speak on their experiences within American social and historical landscapes.
The second film, Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess (dir. Roy T. Anderson, 2016), brings to life the story and legacy of one of the greatest figures in the history of the African diaspora. Queen Nanny, who fought against British slavery in the early eighteenth-century Maroon Wars in Jamaica, is an elusive presence in the colonial archive. However, her story has survived through the oral culture of the Jamaican Maroons and she is now the subject of much historical research. Roy T. Anderson’s one-hour documentary weaves together visual storytelling and reenactments of Queen Nanny’s fight and interviews with a wide variety of people impacted by her legacy, from her Maroon descendants, to Caribbean historians, to Olympic athletes, to members of the US congress.
A Q&A session, moderated by Dr. Alex Brickler, will follow the two films. The ensuing discussion will give viewers the opportunity to make connections between Morrison’s own life and work and the historical presence of Queen Nanny.
This program series is funded in part through a Greater Good: Humanities in Academia grant in partnership with Florida State University.
April 22, 2022 @ 6:30 pm -
April 22, 2022 @ 10:00 pm