Tony Morrison, Nobel Prize, Tony Award discussed on What It Takes

What It Takes


The academy of achievement lost two of its most beloved members in the past few weeks but more significantly america lost two of its most revered voices toni morrison and how prince as it happens in two thousand seven at the international achievement seminar washington d._c. Tony morrison presented how prince with the organization's highest honour the golden plate award earlier that same afternoon these two giants won a novelist and nobel prize winner won a broadway producer director and twenty one the time tony award winner stood at the podium and talked about their lives to the student delegates and the dignitaries sitting mesmerized before worth so on today's episode. We're taking a little bit of a different approach by letting you listen to the talks. They gave unedited that stunning day in the two thousand seven. This is what it takes a podcast about passion vision and perseverance not to mention inspiration from academy of achievement. I'm alice winkler at this child is gifted and i heard that enough that i started to believe if you have the opportunity not a perfect opportunity and you don't take it. You may never have another child. It all was clear. It was just like the picture started to form itself. There was new which ally could prevail over the truth darkness over light their life every day. I wake up and decide today. I'm going to love my life. Decide size is if they're going to break your leg or it's when you go in play stay out of there and then along companies differential experiences that you look for you. Don't plan for the boy. You better not miss him <music>. When tony morrison died several weeks ago on august fifth two thousand nineteen generations nations of readers and writers stopped in their tracks to take in the difficult news she was eighty eight so it could not be called the premature death but her work over the past five decades had such power that it was hard to believe she would no longer stand as a truth taylor among us before we get to her speech to the academy of achievement in two thousand seven a little more about her toni morrison was the author of eleven eleven novels including the bluest eyes song of solomon and of course beloved she took african american women's stories which had been silenced and marginalized and put them front and center where they could no longer be denied and she did it in poetic prose that mingled single magic with the unbearable weight of racism and sexism. Here's a tiny excerpt from beloved her most famous novel the story is based on a real life captured runaway slave who decided to murder her child rather than have her return to slavery in toni horny morrison's telling the child lives on as a ghost who haunts the home where her mother and grandmother live. We couldn't move. She suggested adjusted wants to her mother-in-law. What'd be the point as baby sucks. Not a house in the country impact to its rafters with some dead negro's grief. We lucky this ghost is a baby. My husband spirit was a comeback in here or yours. Don't talk talk to me. You lucky you got three left three pulling inches skirts and just one raising hell from the other side be thankful why don't onto a head eight every one of them gone away from me for take for chase and all expect worrying somebody's house into evil. Tony morrison won the pulitzer for beloved and she went on to win the nobel prize in literature and the presidential medal of freedom one of the many tributes poured in after she died came from michelle obama who wrote for me and for so many others tony morrison was that i crack in the levy the one who freed the truth about black lives sending it rushing out into the world she showed us the beauty in being being our full selves the necessity of embracing our complications and contradictions and she didn't just give us permission to share our stories. She underline ability to do so. She showed how incomplete the world's narrative was without hours in it. I had no reason in no encouragement to be a writer. I didn't think about it until i was over thirty and i only thought about it then because there was something i wanted to read about part and i couldn't find it. I thought everything i needed to read or wanted to read had probably been in written by somebody somewhere and at some point i discovered there was a silence <hes> absence of vacancy about somebody. I knew intimately tape which was young black female. Now there were are books in which such character appeared but she was always a joke an instrument of somebody's pity or to add comic relief of their characters could work out their own generosity on her but what i thought at that time if she you were center stage and held all the attention and the whole text was about her two things occurred to me that it would be about her vulnerability and her absence and her inability to speak for herself and that is the writer would speak for her with other characters or by some skill. I imagined imagine at that time that i had when the book was published it received the kind of <hes> tension that i thought it would which is about two hundred people bought it. Although i have to say i was thinking king four hundred but the company that published it was even more optimistic they printed fifteen hundred and then they decided did you to go out of print. <hes> although they did get a paperback license and then an extraordinary jordan every thing happened <hes> some universities public universities in new york and elsewhere had begun at that time to offer courses in women's studies and they were changing the curricula gala and a lot of places and re organizing what was required reading and some group in new york city. I decided that the bluest eye which is the name of that book would be required reading for everybody who went to the city college of new york forever.

Coming up next