Aired: February 22, 2014

Sheer Good Fortune: Celebrating Toni Morrison

Image courtesy Angela Radulescu
Image courtesy Angela Radulescu

Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison was born Chloe Wofford in 1931. She was 39 when she published her first novel about a black girl’s painful coming of age in a white society. The Bluest Eye and many subsequent works have earned Morrison the highest accolades in literature and established her as one of America’s leading fiction writers. Nikki Giovanni (Virginia Tech) and Joanne Gabbin (James Madison University) paid tribute to Morrison with an extravaganza at Virginia Tech that included nationally renowned writers, singers, and poets, including Maya Angelou. With Good Reason interviewed Morrison and shares highlights from the night of tributes.

Later in the show: The author of Equal Time: Television and the Civil Rights Movement explores how the newly created evening news shows shaped attitudes about race relations during the Civil Rights Movement. Aniko Bodroghkozy  (University of Virginia) investigates the network news treatment of events including the 1965 Selma voting rights campaign, integration riots at the University of Mississippi, and the March on Washington. Also featured: Stephen Alcorn (Virginia Commonwealth University) is the illustrator of the children’s book Odetta: The Queen of Folk, which tells the story of the legendary singer and social activist known as “the Voice of the Civil Rights Movement.” The book follows her renowned career and her influence on many of the most important singers of the folk revival of the 1960s.

  • Toni Morrison Tribute Feature

    In 1993 Toni Morrison became only the second American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.  Joanne Gabbin, a poetry professor at James Madison University, says the American response was less than enthusiastic.

  • Sheer Good Fortune – web extra

    “The sun’s gonna shine at midnight!”  In this video, Nikki Giovanni, Maya Angelou, and Joanne Gabbin discuss the celebration of Toni Morrison.

    [youtuber vimeo=’http://vimeo.com/48321150′]

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