Forum celebrates the life and work of Toni Morrison

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The 12th annual Spring Literary Forum will take place on Thursday in the Efferson Multipurpose Center. The forum will be from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event has been held for the past 12 years to spread literary awareness. This year it will be for an entire day as the forum celebrates the life of Nobel Prize winning writer Tony Morrison.

Morrison was a special guest when the forum made its debut a dozen years ago. Forum organizers said they want students to learn about Morrison’s intellectual output.

“She said so much about what it meant to be [a] African American, especially for this time frame,” said literature professor Natalie King-Pedroso.

Ashlee Cape, Dasia Johnson and Maiya Grace will be student leaders at the forum. The faculty panel will be April McCray, Kendra Mitchell, Yolanda Franklin and Natalia King-Pedroso from Florida Agricultural and Mechiancal University. They will be joined by Jerrilyn McGregory and Maxine Montgomery from Florida State University.

Some of Morrison’s most popular books are “Sula,” “Song of Solomon” and “Beloved.”

Morrison was the first Black woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature and the first Black woman to become an editor at Random House. During the 1970s, Morrison published a book detailing the experiences of Black Americans titled “The Black Book.” The goal of the book was to spread awareness about racism and the struggles of being Black in America.

“She told stories that were not always easy to tell. That takes a lot of heavy lifting,” said King-Pedroso.

The students will discuss Morrison’s novel “The Bluest Eye” at 9:30 a.m. At 11 a.m. professors from FSU and FAMU, who have done research on Morrison, will discuss her life and work.

At 12:30 p.m. Legacy Choral, a FAMU alumni choir group, will perform a musical tribute to celebrate Morrison’s life.

At the end, there will be a screening for a documentary about Morrison’s career.

“The ability of writers to imagine what is not the self, to familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar, is the test of their power,” Morrison wrote.

The goal is for people to have an appreciation to Morrison’s contribution to the literary community.

“Literacy is important when thinking about Morrison. There’s so many places that she’s mining. Whether it be movies, music and other forms of literature, she teaches people how to think,” King-Pedroso said.

The event is open to the public.

“If you have some power the your job is to empower somebody else,” Morrison wrote.