Toni Morrison Lectures | Dear Toni: Morrison Edits a Generation of Black Men
Farah Jasmine Griffin, Columbia University
Tue, 3/28 · 5:00 pm—6:30 pm · 10 McCosh
Department of African American Studies
Held over three days March 28 – March 30th, the Toni Morrison Lectures are held bi-annually and spotlight the new and exciting work of scholars and writers who have risen to positions of prominence both in academe and in the broader world of letters.
The lectures are published to celebrate the expansive literary imagination, intellectual adventurousness and political insightfulness that characterize the writing of Toni Morrison. Morrison taught creative writing at Princeton for many years. In 2014 she donated a major portion of her papers to the Princeton University Library. As of spring of 2016, the papers are available for all scholars to visit and study.
Farah Jasmine Griffin is the William B. Ransford Professor of English and Comparative Literature and African American Studies at Columbia University, where she also served as the inaugural Chair of the African American and African Diaspora Studies Department. Professor Griffin received her B.A. in History & Literature from Harvard and her Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale. She is the author or editor of eight books including Who Set You Flowin?: The African American Migration Narrative (Oxford, 1995), If You Can’t Be Free, Be a Mystery: In Search of Billie Holiday (Free Press, 2001), and Harlem Nocturne: Women Artists and Progressive Politics During World War II (Basic Books, 2013).
Griffin collaborated with composer, pianist, Geri Allen and director, actor S. Epatha Merkerson on two theatrical projects, for which she wrote the book: The first, “Geri Allen and Friends Celebrate the Great Jazz Women of the Apollo,” with Lizz Wright, Dianne Reeves, Teri Lyne Carrington and others, premiered on the main stage of the Apollo Theater in May of 2013. The second, “A Conversation with Mary Lou” featuring vocalist Carmen Lundy, premiered at Harlem Stage in March 2014 and was performed at The John F. Kennedy Center in May of 2016. Her most recent book, Read Until You Understand: The Profound Wisdom of Black Life and Literature was published by W.W. Norton in September 2021. Griffin is a 2021-22 Guggenheim Fellow and Mellon Foundation Fellow in Residence.