19 Episode results for "tony morrison"
Democracy Now! 2019-12-25 Wednesday
"The from New York this is democracy. Now we live here. We live here on this planet in this nation in this county and and if I got a home you've got one too so grab it. Grab this land. Take this led. Ah Lan my brothers. Ain't nobody crying in my whole I want you to take this land. Make it my brother's let's shake it squeeze it turn it twist faded chicken kissing stop digging ploughing Z.. Rigid solid own. It build it. Multiply it and pass it on you. Hit It on Oprah Winfrey Reading Tony Morrison. One of the nation's most influential writers Morrison died in August at the age of eighty eight. Today we spend the hour at the celebration for life at the Cathedral of Saint John The divine with those who knew and loved from Angela Davis to author Tallahassee Coats and ed which dont`a friend friend Liebowitz and more. This is democracy now democracy now DOT ORG the Warren Peace Report. I'm Amy Goodman today in special broadcast we spend the hour remembering Tony. Morrison one of the nation's most influential writers. She died in August at the age of eighty eight from complications of pneumonia. In nineteen ninety-three. Tony Morrison became the first African American woman to receive. The Nobel Prize is for literature she also won Pulitzer Prize in one thousand. Nine hundred eighty eight for classic work beloved. Toni Morrison was born in Lorain. Ohio in nineteen thirty one. She did not publish her first novel the Bluest eye until she was thirty nine years old she wrote while taking care of her two young sons as a single mother other in juggling a day job as a book editor at Random House as an editor. She's widely credited with helping widen the literary stage for African Americans and feminists menace much of Morison's writings focused on the female black experience. In America. Her work was deeply concerned with race in history especially freshly the sin and Crime of transatlantic slavery and the potentially restored of power of community in two thousand twelve. President Obama awarded. Where did Tony Morrison the Presidential Medal of Freedom Tony Morrison? She is used to a little distraction as a single mother working at a publishing company by hi day she would carve out a little time in the evening to write often with her two sons pulling on her hair and tugging at her earrings. Once a baby spit up on her tablet so she wrote around it. Circumstances may not have been ideal but the words that came out We're we're magical Toni. Morrison's pros brings us that kind of moral and emotional intensity that few writers ever or attempt from Song of Solomon to beloved Tony Reaches Us deep using a tone that is lyrical precise distinct and inclusive. She believes that language arcs toward the place where meaning might live. The rest of us are lucky to be following along for the ride upon her death. President Obama said quote. Toni Morrison was a national treasure. Her writing was not just beautiful but meaningful. A challenge is to our conscience and a call to greater empathy. This is an interview. Tony Morrison gave to the Australian Journalists Ianovich in one thousand nine hundred ninety eight for the program. Toni Morrison uncensored. You don't think you will ever change right books that incorporate what what lives into them substantially time being a substantial. You can't understand how powerfully raise questions as you could never ask a wider. When are you gonNA write about black whether he did or not or she did not even even the inquiry comes from position a being in the center and being used to being in the same being used to being an end and and saying you know? Is it ever possible you will enter demands chain. It's inconceivable that we're I already already am is mainstream on no. That wasn't the implication of my question. I think you are very very much in the mainstream. But it's a question of the subject of Jio narrative whether you want to alter the parameters of it with you see any Any benefit in doing that or will you clearly see disadvantages entering it from your point of view it just took disadvantages to know pluses for me. Being an African American rider is sort of like being a Russian writer Peres about Russia in Russian for Russia and the fact that it gets translated and read other people. There's a benefit it's a plus but he's not obliged to ever consider writing about French people or Americans and that's Tony Morrison being interviewed by the well known Australian Journalists Bench Nineteen Ninety Eight. Well today. We remember Tony Morrison through those who knew and loved her editors writers musicians as we bring you highlights from a celebration of her life memorial. All that took place here in New York November twenty first at the Cathedral of Saint John The divine it drew thousands. We begin with Oprah Winfrey who produced and and starred in the One Thousand Nine Hundred Ninety eight film adaptation of Morrison's beloved Oprah's Book Club also brought Toni Morrison's novels to a wide audience. The first time I came face to face with Tony Morrison was in Maya Angelou's backyard for a gathering ring of some of the most illustrious black people you've ever heard of to celebrate Toni Morrison's Nobel Prized Victory My head and my heart were swirling. Every time I looked at her. I mean I couldn't even speak speak. I had to catch my breath and I was seated across from her at dinner and there was a moment when I saw Ms Morrison just gesture to the waiter for some water and I almost tripped over myself. Trying to get up from the table to get it for her eh Eh said sit down. We have people here to do that. You're a guest so I sat down I obeyed of course but it was not easy. I tell you to sit sit still or to keep myself inside my body. I felt like I was all seven years old because after all she was there and so many others that day Mari Evans Sister Angela. Davis was there Nikki. Giovanni was there read a dove. Was There Toni. Cade Bombard was there. It was a writers Mecca and I was there sitting at the table taking it all in and as I look back that day remains one of the great thrills of my life. You know I didn't really get to speak to Tony. Tony Morrison that day. I was just to dazzle but I had already previously called her up to ask about acquiring the film rights to beloved. After I finished reading it I found her number called her and when I asked Mr is it true that sometimes people have to read over your work in order to understand it to get the full meaning. And she bluntly he replied that my dears cold reading I was embarrassed. But that statement actually gave me the confidence years later. When I formed the book club on the Oprah Show to choose her work I chose more of her books than any other author over the years Song of Solomon and First Soula the bluest eye and powered ice and if any one of our viewers ever complained that it was hard going or challenging challenging reading Toni Morrison I simply said that my dear is called reading there was no distance between Green Tony Morrison and her words? I loved her novels but lately I've been rereading essays which underscore that. She was also one of our most influential sensual public intellectuals. In one essay she said if writing is thinking and discovery and selection and order her and meaning it is also aw and reference and mystery and magic and this facts can exist without human intelligence but truth cannot she thought deeply about the role of the artist and concluded that writers are among on the most sensitive most intellectually and archaic most representative most probing of all the artist. She believed it was a writers leader's job to rip the veil off to bore down to the truth. She took the cannon and she broke it open among her legacies the writer she paved the way for many of them here. And this beautiful space tonight celebrating her Toni Morrison was her words. Words she is her words for her. Words often were confrontational. She spoke the unspoken. She probed the unexplored she wrote of eliminating the white gaze of not wanting to speak for black people but wanting to speak to them to be among them to be among all people. Her words. Don't permit the reader to down them quickly and forget them. We know that they refused to be skimmed. They will not be ignored. They can cut you. Turn you upside down make you think you. Just don't get it but when you finally do when you finally do and you always will when you open yourself to what she is offering you experience as I have many times reading. Tony Morrison a kind of emancipation. Cancer patient liberation and ascension to another level of understanding because by taking us down there amid the pain gene the shadows she urges us to keep going to keep feeling to keep trying to figure it all out with her words and her stories as guide and companion and she asks us to follow our own pain to reckon with it and lasted transcended while. She's no longer on this earth her magnificent soul her boundless imagination her fierce fierce passion. Her Gallantry she told me once I've always known I was gallant. Who says that WHO even knows they are Gallant well her gallantry remains always to help us navigate our way through. That's Oprah Winfrey. We'll hear more from her. At the end of the broadcast. This is Toni. Morrison's publisher Arrow McDonald's the United States Senate in a rare show uh of bipartisanship approved a resolution honoring Toni Morrison's life and legacy put forth by Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman Democrat and Republican respectively of Ohio. We're Tony was born so the resolution pointedly includes Tony Morrison in the Patriarchal American literary Canon citing Hawthorne when Melvil Twain Emerson Whitman and faulkner as her peers. But Tony Morrison transcends is this well intentioned if parochial commendation she is no mere great American writer a free artist of herself she is a world historical figure a towering presence in the World Republic of letters who has had a seismic impact on the global economy of Literary Prestige. So it is that we have gathered gathered in this house at this time to offer a collective praise Song in celebration of Toni. Morrison's life a life evermore about to be as generations today and to come read her work. Let's all rejoice as we extol the richness snus of person hood the subliminally of her art the exceptionalism of her stature and the power of of her moral imagination. That's twenty Morrison's publisher Erroll McDonald. This is Haitian American writer. Ed which dont`a Kat hello again and MS Morrison. I've been seeing you everywhere. Since you surrender to the air and took your flight. I see you and bleak skies that are as seductive as sunshine. I see you and daisy trees and I see you and benches by the road. I Hear Your Voice in Church Hymns spirituals and jazz tunes means because you were as you wrote a j Dean and tar baby not only woman but a sound all the music we have ever wanted to play as well as a world and a way of being in it I keep of seeing you to shiny beautiful hairpins we've through grey locks. It's time you gifted me. One of those was hairpins. I felt as though you were sharing pieces of your infinite crown with me. I still feel all your presence and your sister writer friends who folded me in your embrace. Your work my goodness the work is his sublime and we do not just read it. We experienced it you gave us both lullabies and battle cries you turn pain into flesh and you brought spirits to life. You urged us to be dangerously free. You lead this foreigner to a different type of home your work. His carried me through adolescence in marriage through parenthood food and orphanhood I have recited in paraphrased your sentences to myself while cradling tiny bodies of my newborn D- orders orders. They get bigger older but grown. What's that supposed to mean and the skeletal faces of my dying parents? Soft as Kareem. I hoped that they would go softest cream and I came to think of you as you wrote in the Bluer. STI- as somebody with hands I aunts who does not want me to die. Death is as natural as life you wrote and you sure did live in this world old some of us called you mother to you Ford. She was Mama. Some of US called you grandmother Grand. Some of US called you. Sister saw many in this room called you. Teacher Editor Mentor. Uh We called you. Our beloved others called you friend which is no casual title to you because friendship is a kind of religion in your work including friendships of the mind. We still call you. Buy Those names but now we will also call you timeliness timeless we now also call you ancestor. That was Haitian American writer. Ed which speaking at the celebration deliberation of life for Tony Morrison will continue to look at her life and legacy after break Sun. Uh maybe it's gone calm. I'm again heal dot A.. L. Dum DA and again all the Be Bad as a you cannot see but You know the old that's Toshi Regan performing there and back again at the celebration of the life of Tony Morrison. This is democracy now democracy now DOT ORG Warren Police report. I made me Goodman as we continue with the Tony Morrison Memorial at the Cathedral of Saint John. The divine in New York. Tony Morrison was is the first African American woman to win the Nobel Prize for literature. She also won a Pulitzer Prize at her memorial. Thousands packed in we turn now to professor author activists. Angela Davis once hunted by the FBI imprisoned and exonerated her autobiography. biography was edited by Tony Morris and soon after my first encounter with Tony Mos and she became my editor. I probably would not have written an autobiography if anyone other than Tony at approached me and for me today the real significance of that book is the arena. It created for an instant friendship that lasted almost half a century entry. I was her housemate for a while. According to her she was also my handler. When we traveled together on tour we were travelling companions both within and beyond the continental United States? We jog together. In Spring Valley. We hiked in the Virgin Islands. We explored Scandinavia together. She was my big nick sister a friend who made me feel that without her friendship I could never have become who I imagined myself to be today so many of us feel that we have found ourselves through because because of an in relation to Tony and her work I was in my late twenties when we met and and although she was in her early forty she was not yet. Tony Morrison the internationally acclaimed writer but she was on a mission and to open the US publishing industry to black writers and activists. I wanted to give back something something. She later said to Hilton Als. I wasn't marching. I didn't go to anything. I didn't join anything but I could make sure there was a published record of those who did March and did put themselves on the line. Tony also so understood much better than anyone else. I believe that deep radicals change happens. Not that's so much because people march and put themselves on the line however important this kind of activism might be but rather hazard because we collectively learn to imagine ourselves on different terms with the world. We realized that we can change along with the conditions of our lives and that is the task of writers and other artists says to help produce these profound shifts. This is why she wrote and this is why she published authors like like Toni cade from Barra Gail Jones Henry Dumas's who was shot to death by a Newark Transit Police Officer in one thousand nine hundred sixty the eight. Nothing was serendipitous here. I don't remember formalities. When we first met one Matt I had no idea who Tony Morrison was and the next moment itself like we had been friends forever? I learned learned so much from Tony. The evocative element of perception and language the expansiveness of the political article beyond traditional realms of power the importance of identifying and attempting to contest the white gays the male male gaze. But what I value most among all her many gifts is how she demonstrated away of being in the world that allowed her simultaneously to inhabit multiple dimensions. She was always here and there at the same time. Totally present with you but also at the same time creating creating new universes many years ago when her sons were quite young. I was saying with them and spring. Valley Tony already written the bluest eye. And soula she made have breakfast every morning before heading to the city where she would drop off the boys at school and being her office. I said Random House by nine. She always began her writing early in the morning. But with jot down ideas throughout the day I remember and but one morning when she was cooking eggs. I believe while the eggs on the stove she reached for her yellow Pat and Pencil which always nearby and John. It's something down and again and again. I remember her doing this when we were driving. When the traffic would come to a halt for example torch Washington Bridge? She was writing song of solemn and all of this time she he had been engaged with Milkman and Hagar and pilot and the other characters she was obviously fully involved with them. The book itself self is the evidence but at the same time she was absolutely present for her young sons while driving thing or conversations she was never only partially paying attention she was always one hundred hundred percent engage. This is why I think our vision was so extrordinary. She never drew stark lines. Separating fiction and the real her fiction was often much more real than reality and especially the current political reality. Tony last visited me and my partner in Oakland a few years ago and we talk of her upcoming visit when we would in California go up to the country to see the night sky and especially the Milky Way she was inhabiting one of the characters in her next novel. A boy who loved the night sky and so I I think of her now exploring the infinitude of our galaxy we have probably all reflecting on the fact. Is that so many out in the world morning Tony Morrison enter proclaiming that she is not gone because her exposed ordinary work feels. The voice fills the void that was created by her passing. But we we who knew her who know her and certainly treasure her work for us. It is the greatest challenge L. Inge to our collective imagination to envision a world without the glorious laughter of of our. Do you do you Tony. That's Professor Angela. Davis this is offer friendly wits many years ago I was book tour with the books that was doing very well until it got a truly terrible review in the New York Times. Tony was in Paris. I was in either Portland Indoor Seattle. I know they're supposed to be some vast difference between these two but I can never remember what that is despite the thousand hour time. Difference Tony Call me from Paris. Listen she said this. It doesn't mean a thing. This has nothing to do with your book. This is personal. This guy just doesn't like you what don't take it. seriously she said reviews aren't important. Books are important. You have to learn to ignore these kind of reviews like I did. Don't you remember when this person said that about me. Don't you remember when that person said this about me. No of course did not so she then proceeded to quote word for word at least half a dozen of her bad reviews. None of which she said mattered at all. And many of Tony's bad reviews were absolutely despicable the reach uh of misogyny and racism. So what kind of friend Tony. Tony was the kind of friend who called you to read you her bad reviews. But it's Tony got older. She lost her grip on her bed. Reviews and genuinely seem to shrug them. I'm off this enrage me. How can you talk to that guy I would say? Don't you remember what he wrote about you. Oh well she would reply. It was a long time ago. I don't really care but I really cared. So I assigned myself the task of holding Antonio Grudges for her. She found extremely screamingly entertaining. But I was perfectly serious and I still am so please. Let's keep that in mind. Thank you that's author friendly bullets. This is ten Hassi Coats. He won the National Book Award for between the world. and May it has taken me some time to truly understand how much our own a Tony Morrison. What I know is that when I was young? The Shia poetry and economy of sense enthralled me that I grew older and the census deepened for me as I came to appreciate with that poetry and economy was doing how it gave voice to a pain that was once a distant and close so what I know is I've been reading. Tony Morrison since her passing. And I'm amazed only now at this late hour. I've come to appreciate what everyone here must already appreciate. The Tony Morrison was really funny. Doc Doc the humorous. What I know is that Tony Morrison taught me the meaning of grown folks literature the kind that to paraphrase my sister? Jasmine is as merciless with its characters and Mercilus with us as life itself but like a trenchant memory we are drawn back to that work and slowly we come to see the lesson. Asan grown folks literature trying to bestow on us so Tony Morrison has been bestowing lessons on me for my entire life. Hello to explain what I mean by this. I have to take you back to one. Thousand Nine hundred seventy four before I was born and into my father. Small Struggling Bookstore on Pennsylvania Avenue you in West Baltimore. If you've gone in that story one thousand nine hundred seventy four. You would have found copies of my father considered to be one of the most magical books he ever encountered. And that's because this book was all about him. All about black people and the book was not so much a book as a worked visual Art Pastiche of ancient maps antebellum newspaper Clippings Ham Bills Quilt Work Photographs Song Lyrics and poetry. This marvel was called the Black Book and my dad had never seen anything like it. He wondered how it could to be that the white folks and publishing had brought such thing to be there was no author identified on the cover of the black book and thus no way of knowing that this book of magic was not the work of white folks at all. It was the work. Toni Morrison My Dad's bookstore was not long for this world sadly but the black book was when he shut down the store in the late seventy S. He brought it home put it in his library and where it sat waiting for his young son to discover. The black book is the First Work of Toni. Morrison's I haven't counted. It was chaotic to me. Printing Fox would switch on the same page. The imagery sometimes have Sambo's other times of black men burnt alive other. The Times of the enslaved was haunting. I do not like the black book but I was very much arrested by it. And in an era Arab before smartphones and Google I spent hours flipping through its pages imbibing since on aesthetics that only now like life itself like grown folks folks literature are being revealed to me. I think that the principal lesson was this. Black is beautiful but it ain't always wastes pretty indeed for black to be beautiful. It must very often not be pretty. That beauty must ache the beauty. Must sometimes repulse even as an chance even as an enrolls even as it arrests so Tony Morrison with with me as a child and my parents library. She was with me at Howard University when I walked in her flowing shadow and saw her in one one thousand nine hundred five give the annual chart address. She was with me as I saw my own voice as a writer and she was with me when I published my own work. Hello and she was not there to anoint me or even celebrate me. She was there to challenge me to force me to remember my lineage. Remember the standard that was set before me by all my literary ancestor this including now the queen of them all Tony Morrison herself. Hello to not indulge in Gallantry to not indulge in pretty slow and to remember that this is not a fairy tale. This is growing folks. Thank you that's prize winning author Tallahassee Coats. This is Kevin Young poet director of the Shamburg Center for Researching Black Culture in Harlem. It is an honor to be here celebrating our genius. Tony Morrison and this agust place. Hello this is you know is a sacred space that least of which because it is resonant with writing and writers who like Morrison wrote themselves free. It is also as you know the space James Baldwin's funeral was held in one thousand nine hundred seven even when Tony Morrison offered a eulogy for her friend addressed to you. I was fortunate to get to know and meet Tony Morrison. In a number of times my first person encounter with her was during my freshman year of college when I talked my way into an advanced seminar on her work. What privilege reading? All Her novels in the order that they were written it was a condensed approximation of the wonder under and wisdom that had greeted faithful readers over the years. She freed something in me that year Morrison came to Cambridge Massachusetts to read from beloved then newly out with a standing room only crowd and people sitting in the aisles of the giant UNITARIAN. Church my friends and I literally sat at her feet. Arriving a few minutes late Morrison passed right over and in between us US close so close. That could almost touch the hem of her garment of course now and always so we all sit at her feet are your so later in one thousand nine hundred ninety one. I would get to meet more and more personally. I went to to the movies with her and Angela Davis who perhaps remembers and a good friend of mine. Who's Davis says niece? Isa Whenever I tell the story which I I don't do much but sometimes do people always ask me. What movie Jal they picture? I think something profound and political political as Morrison's writing the five heartbeats I answer I love that it was that film because up close Morrison was Turkey and funny smoking afterward as we walked the streets of Oakland. Oh a bookstore. She said after a few blocks and dashed into ask after something through the glass doors could see the employees at the help desk looking quite helpless answering that. They didn't have this or that title elden staring at her in wonder as she simply walked out and we ambled back to our cars. It was like a visit from a myth. If you had only read about the whole while I was still in college I have my hardcover copy of beloved and my Blue Messenger bag bag aching to ask her to sign it. I was too shy. And didn't know how to broach the subject exactly because Morrison was so unpretentious attention and accepting. I was afraid to break the spell after we parted ways for the rest of the evening and for years after I felt I'd missed my chance later over a decade later. I would get that book signed. She was generous as ever but more than that over the years own work had helped me to further except my own black and ride early self to realize two of her many truths that quote the function. The various serious function of Racism is distraction and also that quote the function of freedom is the free someone else. She gave us permission to work to wake early and stay up late writing rather rather than arguing whether we could or should right or exist at all Morrison gave us beautiful language as an assumption of self hood but also so as a mirror to look into. I'm thankful that she gave me a young writer that afternoon to sit in the welcome dark dreaming alongside her. Hello today in my role as director of the Center for Research in black culture. My Day job imagined the luck caretake and champion black history and culture in a house that Tony Morrison helped to craft in our courtyard at Schaumburg. Just down the hill in Harlem is a bench in honor honor of Morrison part of the bench by the road project by the Tony Morrison Society. This embodies her wish for monument to slavery and to memory when she says there is not even a monument no bench by the road where you can think of slavery and that was one of the reasons she wrote beloved. She said now that actual bench is a sub celebratory place to contemplate to set a spell as we say and maybe even the CASTA spell what Morrison conjured up in her writing and her being is magic of the daily and extraordinary enchantment of black life off it is morrison more than anyone who measures the trauma. Triumph of the enslaved creates in her work a living monument vehement to our shared past and are far off future one of words and wisdom of silence shattered and the unsaleable. WHOA named made legible? She's a friend to our minds. I want to end with a poem by Morrison. Once once she wrote in her work titled Five Poems called. I am not seaworthy. It's a work of music and mystery of words that sing. I am not seaworthy. I'm not seaworthy. Look look how the fish mistake my hair for home. I had a life like you. I shouldn't be riding the see. I am not seaworthy. Let me be earthbound star fixed mixed with Sun and smacking air. Give me the smile. The magic kiss to trick little boy death of my hand. Oh not seaworthy. Look how the fish mistake my hair for that was poet. Kevin Young Young Director of the Shamburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. We'll be back with more remembrances of Tony Morrison in a minute uh-huh mm-hmm in uh-huh the saxophonist. David Murray performing the memorial for Tony Morrison at Saint John The divine bovine in New York. This is democracy now. I'm Amy Goodman Tony. Morrison was the first African American woman to win the Nobel Prize for literature. She also won a Pulitzer Prize as we continue to bring you excerpts from her memorial we turn now to David Ramnik editor of The New Yorker magazine. Gene Toni Morrison's earliest work did not reach a wide audience. Not right away. But it's fair to say that with time the world caught on so you could talk a good sized warehouse with all the prizes and certificates and honorary degrees and medals. That came her way but she kept the very very best of it in her guest bathroom to frame documents. One near the sink and the other nearby the first was Nobel Prize Diploma as bestowed in Nineteen ninety-three by the Swedish Academy the the second the second was a letter dated nine hundred ninety eight from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Justice announcing that her novel Paradise had been banned from the State's prisons paradise the Texas authorities. This declared quote contains materials that any reasonable person could construe as written solely for the purpose of communicating information mation designed to achieve a breakdown of prisons through inmate disruption such as strikes or riots. Think of it the idea that a novel could cause an uprising and Tony wants put it smiling. How powerful awful is that? Powerful is one way to describe. Tony Morrison her presence. Her talent her voice were and remain unforgettable powerful awful and as much as any artists of her time she shaped how we thought how felt what we read what we teach each how we see each other and how we see this troubled country it is as I say a very humbling thing to speak about her and her men's legacy galaxy it was certainly a humbling thing to call her on editorial business. I once ranked Tony to see if she might write something something for the magazine. She seemed not to care very much about my editorial desperation. I can't honey honey. She said I'm baking a cake. Now how long it takes to bake a cake was not something the thing I was prepared to ask her. She knew the score. Tony Morrison began her life and letters as an editor. She did it to to pay the bills but she also found a way to bring honor originality and political purpose to that job she respected protest. But she did not March. She edited and that was for a time. Her political work published a revolutionary ALMANAC called the black book. So the kind of family scrapbook of three Hundred Years of American black life and she brought to life in theology of contemporary African American and African African literature work that it helped to shape her and that she wanted you to read. She brought forward the work of Gail Jones. Tony Kate Bombard Angela Davis and a gifted and original young poet named Mohammed Ali. Aw Editing was a job but it was also her activism her community work and yet in those days Tony's most profound work was furtive. It took place at home in the dark beginning at four or five six in the morning while her young sons were fast asleep so she knew precisely what you wanted to do. She wanted to write about black people. Four black people in the language of the various languages which is up black people and this struck her as no more or less peculiar then tolstoy who wrote in Russian about Russians and four Russians and as a reader. She noticed long before. Most academics have black. People were barely visible in nearly all of the novels of the American Renaissance Po and in thought Hawthorne she was determined to assert the primacy the complexity. The specificity the the pain the beauty in the endurance of African Americans and not have to go about explaining it. All all the time to anyone else White readers were welcome of course just as French readers were welcome to tolstoy but as she told her good friend Hilton. All's my sovereignty and authority pretty as a racialist person had to be struck immediately and so on those stolen early morning hours she worked and reworked a manuscript about about a young girl who was consumed with tragic self hatred and her name. SPECULA- BREEDLOVE I. I wanted to read a book about the most Vulnerable Person In society female child black and it wasn't around so I I started writing it. She said and the result of course was the bluest eye then came Soula then came song of Solomon and it was at that point that the artists no longer had to work an office job. She was free Toni. Morrison's novel are not only about subjects about race in its construction about family and community friendship and love about all that human they are also exquisitely exquisitely built their like music. There is intricately structured as an Ellington sweet countless passages featured the crafted after chaos and the intentional dissonance indignity of felonious Monk Solo other passages or as purely melodic and and his fearless as something by her favorite singer. Nina Simone at a celebration of Nita Simone's life fifteen years ago at Carnegie Hall. Tony said a simone what so many readers have come to say of Tony Morrison. She saved our lives. She led us to believe with little true to life evidence to support it that we could do it. Fight injustice rather than suffer it survive loss come to terms with trail be brutally honest disarmingly tender have regrets minus apology and not just taste the fullness of life so but drink it down Tony. Morrison was also an invaluable thinker her capacity to see this country for what it is you to see our best and worst political actors for who they are was uncanny just after Election Day in two thousand sixteen the Editors of the New Yorker call on a number of writers and thinkers among others to make sense of the inexplicable. It was not an explicable to Tony. Any Morrison this time thank goodness she was not baking a cake she emailed back regarding the future. I am intellectually weaponized weaponized. Then she wrote this about the election of Donald Trump so scary or the consequences sort of a collapse of white privilege that many that many Americans have flocked to a political platform that supports and translates violence against the defenseless As strength these people are not so much angriest terrified with the kind of terror that makes knees tremble as an editor as a thinker and a novelist. Toni Morrison refused to allow racism to overcome her racism. She said keeps you from doing doing your work. It keeps explaining over and over again. Your reason for being somebody says you have no language and you spend twenty years proving that you do somebody says your head is in shape properly so you have scientists working on the fact that it is. Somebody says that you have no art. So you dredge that up. Somebody says that you have no kingdoms. And you dredge that up. None of it is necessary there will always be one more thing. Tony Morrison struggled against the hate and she was fearless. Uh but she also refused to get lost to lose her sense of mission. She carried through on the promise and the mission that she embarked on a half a century ago with the bluest list. I great novelist illuminate worlds. We dimly no were they explore new realms of experience that had been sequestered from from the cannon that is great novels either. Open a door or they turn on the lights. Tony Morrison did it all. She opened the door. Hello and she turned on the lights. That was New Yorker editor. David remnant as we go back now to Oprah Winfrey who concluded the evening coming celebration of Toni Morrison's life. I'd like to close the evening with an expert from Song of. Solomon I have any favorite passages when it comes to Tony's body of work when that you just shared Kevin. She's a friend of my mind from beloved. I love that Momma Emma. Did you ever love us. And the mothers response in Soula but this one from Song of Solomon Solomon never fails to inspire off offer the and for that and so much else I say thank you to the singular monumental gallant brighter. He had come out of nowhere as ignorant as a hamlet and broke as a convict with nothing. Nothing but free papers a Bible. Aw and a pretty black hair wife and in one year he leased ten icus in the next ten more six thirteen years later. He had one of the best farms and Monto to accounting farm that colored their lives like a paintbrush and spoke to them like a sermon. You see you see the farm set to them see see see what you can do. You see never mind. You can't tell one letter from another. Never mind you born a slave. Never mind you lose your name. Never Mind your daddy dead. Never mind nothing so here. This here is what a man can do. If he puts his mind to it and is back Beckett stops sniffling it said stop picking around the edges of the world take advantage and if you can't take advantage take disadvantage. We live here. Uh we live here on this planet in this nation in this count- get you see that gates. You See. We got a home right right here in this rock. Don't you see we got a home in this rock and if I got home you got one two so so grab it. Grab this van. Take this Lynn held this land. My brothers Ain't nobody crying in my whole I want you to take this land. Make it my brother's shake it. Squeeze it turn it twisted baited kid kiss it with it. Stop it dig it plough it ceded repeated rated by it sell it. I want it build it. Multiply it and pass it on you him. Don't you thank Oprah Winfrey Angela Davis and which don to cut and other writers and Musicians and editors remembering the groundbreaking author. Toni Morrison at her memorial at the Cathedral of Saint John The divine in New York in November to see my interview with three remarkable writers. Who Knew Tony Morrison well? Angela Davis Sonia Sanchez Sanchez N.. Nikki Giovanni visit our website democracy now dot org democracy now is produced by Burkina Governor. Main Chez Carla Wills. TAMMY WARREN OFF. Libya rainy Simao cough John Hamilton rubbish. Karen Honey Masud Serena Notre Dame. Mary asked to do a dramatic contrast Maria. Tara Cena and Rene felts Mike Mike to Filippo and Mogilny our engineer special. Thanks to Becca Staley. Julie Crosby Marianne Barnard and Hugh Grin. I made me Goodman. Thanks so much for joining us.
Wednesday, November 4th, 2020
"Good morning capricorn. Today's wednesday november. Fourth two thousand and twenty mars retrograde in aries finds tension with venus in. Libra you'll be inclined to play nice unless someone pushes your buttons. If you feel backed into a corner all bets are off. This is capricorn today. Apar- cast original. If you are feeling anxious depressed are overwhelmed. Better help offers licensed online counselors who are trained to listen and help connect with your counselor through secure video phone chat or text. Join the one million. Plus people getting help with better help and horoscope today. Listeners get ten percent off your first month at better help dot com slash horoscope today. That's better h e l p dot com slash horoscope today. Let's begin your day. The planet of communication square saturn. In your sign right. Now you may not feel accurately represented during talks with higher ups try to reclaim your narrative. Don't allow your truth to get lost in the shuffle. Now take a moment to reflect on urination chips. Have you ever wondered whether you're compatible with virgo. This relationship is cozy and sentimental built on mutual understanding and miles of common ground. though passion. Brings you together your steadfast nature keeps you from drifting apart. Contemplate your path to personal growth today. Consider this quote by tony morrison when you get these jobs that you've been so brilliantly trained for just remember that your real job. Is that if you are free. You need to free somebody else. If you have some power than your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab bag. Candy cane capra corn. Today is a daily podcast. Follow on spotify to make part of your morning routine if you're interested in learning more about your sign. Download the sanctuary app from the apple app or google play stores. Get your first reading today. And follow sanctuary at sanctuary world on instagram. That's s anc. T. u. a. r. y. w. r. l. d. horoscope. Today is a park asked original.
Wednesday, November 4th, 2020
"Good morning aries. Today is wednesday november. Fourth two thousand twenty mars retrograde in your sign finds tension with venus in libra. You'll be inclined to play nice unless someone pushes your buttons. If you feel backed into a corner all bets are off this area today. A podcast original. If you're feeling anxious depressed are overwhelmed. Better help offers. Licensed online counselors trained to listen and help connect with your counselor through secure video phone chat or text. Join the one million. Plus people getting help with better help and horoscope today. Listeners get ten percent off your first month at better help dot com slash four scope today. That's better h e l p dot com slash horoscope today Let's begin your day. Mercury squares saturn in your house reputation adding fuel to the fire. This will be a potentially confrontational day. Don't let your wounded pride drive you to say something you'll later regret. Now take a moment to reflect on your relationships. Have you ever wondered how compatible you are with virgo. This can be sincere sentimental bond your justice seeking signs willing to fight for what you believe in if your relationship is one of those things there will be little that you cannot overcome. Contemplate your path to personal growth today. Consider this quote by tony morrison when you get these jobs that you've been so brilliantly trained for just remember that your real job. Is that if you are free. You need to free somebody else. If you have some power then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab bag. Candy game aries. Today is a daily podcast. Follow on spotify to make a part of your morning routine if you're interested in learning more about your sign. Download the sanctuary app from the apple app or google play stores. Get your first reading today. And follow sanctuary at sanctuary world on instagram. That's s anc. T. u. a. r. y. w. r. l. d. horoscope. Today is a park asked original.
Monday, November 2nd, 2020
"Good morning leo. Today is monday november. Second two thousand twenty the moon in gemini. I finds harmony with mercury retrograde in libra. After a week of spiritual rebirth and karmic upkeep. We embrace this fresh start. It's a time to gather resources in preparation for a long winters night. This is leo today. Apar- cast origina- if you are feeling anxious depressed are overwhelmed. Better help offers. Licensed online counselors. Who are trained to listen and help connect with your counselor through secure video phone chat or text. Join the one million. Plus people getting help with better help and horoscope today. Listeners get ten percent off your first month at better help dot com slash horoscope today. That's better h e l p dot com slash horoscope today. Let's begin your day. Our work ethic is like a muscle. We cannot push ourselves to the brink. Everyday skills are sharpened slowly over time through dedicated and consistent practice focus on producing rewarding reliable results. Now take a moment to reflect on your relationships. Be wary of colleagues dour mood. If a conversation turns cynical feel free to cut it short gravitate towards those who share your positive outlook. Contemplate the work you do in your career. You are a natural teacher and a strong leader. Consider how you might use these gifts to help future generations as tony morrison once said when you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for just remember that your real job is that if you are free you need to free somebody else if you have some power then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab bag. Candy game leo. Today is podcast. Follow on spotify to make it part of your morning routine if you're interested in learning more about your sign. Download the sanctuary app from the apple app or google play stores. Get your first reading today. And follow sanctuary at sanctuary world on instagram s. Anc t. u. a. r. y. w. r. d. horoscope. Today is a park asked original.
Remembering Toni Morrison, 'A Friend Of Our Minds'
"This message comes from on point sponsor indeed. If you're hiring with indeed you can post a job in minutes set up screener questions than zero in on your short list of qualified defied candidates using an online dashboard get started at indeed dot com slash n._p._r. Podcast from n._p._r. N._p._r. w._p._r._o. Boston i'm david folkenflik and this is on point. Tony morrison looms large over any conversation about american literature of the past half-century the winner of the pulitzer prize nobel laureate champion of other african american authors convener of a decades long salon focused on writing about the american experience experience other writers hail her use of language and of metaphor to capture black life in the u._s. Says it's actually lived in fact and truth often exploring the heritage of racism mm-hmm without putting it in terms of the white perspective powerful personal poetic. Toni morrison's books became part of the american literary canon. She died this week. At the age of eighty eight this hour on point a conversation about tony morrison join us especially like to hear this hour from listeners for morrison's work group eight meaning. I'd like to invite them to call in with the sentence or brief passages from toni morrison's books that have spoken to you and to give a chance to tell us and our audience why join us of course anytime at dot org on twitter and facebook ad on point radio with us from n._p._r. Member station w. s. u. In jackson mississippi is dana williams. She's a professor of african american literature and chair of the english department at toni morrison's alma mater. That's howard university in washington d._c. <hes> professor williams is also president of the tony morrison society and has been researching morrison's careers and editor at random house. She interviewed tony morrison for that research. Several times professor dana williams welcomed on point point. Thank you for having me also with us from richmond. Virginia is tracy mcmillan cottam. She's a writer columnist and professor of sociology at virginia commonwealth university. She's she's also author of thick and other essays. It's a collection exploring the identity and experience that defines black women womanhood in america trustee mcmillan cotton welcome back to on point. Thank you david pleasure to be here and later we'll hear from the novelist and put russell banks longtime friend of tony morrison and a colleague i for for decades at princeton university professor cottam. Let's start with you know. It's a it's a moment to take stock right. It's a moment to think back into celebrate at this life and and this legacy when you think of tony morrison what she means to you as a writer and has a presence what stands out oh yes it is as a moment and i am torn between feeling grateful to have had a tony morrison for almost nine decades and a deep sadness. I can't help but think that we just weren't done with her yet. She may have been done with us. <hes> but of all moments it felt like to lose tony morrison at the precise moment when i think i think we could use the language that she gave us to describe <hes> the world that we live in. It's a sad moment as well what tony morrison meant to me <hes> as much as her work transformed my understanding of my ability to speak to <hes> the literary canon not just the literary canon though but to speak quite frankly to white people which is what we've been trained to do in my formal education and i think that i was allowed to take up space in my own voice voice in my own way as much as that matter through literature her as a as a larger presence of being a black woman creative who owned that she was great at what she she did and that there was nothing unnatural or noteworthy about her greatness and her brilliance <hes> inspired me <hes> every time i sat down to to write and was one of the reasons why i knew that writing was possible for me that there was a way to be free black woman and to write my own own intellectual history in my own voice and that i could own it as something that is not just authentic but meaningful that matters and that i could do it by speaking to entering the people that i care about the most that talking about and thinking about black people was in and of itself an intellectual project. A tony showed us how to do that and she showed us how to do it with style. I don't want to <hes> understand. Just how you know. I think you know seductive she could be. I had the opportunity to only see her live twice and how seductive she could be how funny <hes> how witty how self possessed she could be <hes> and so she wasn't it wasn't self serious. She was a serious writer but she wasn't self serious and that was very inspiring so dana williams. I want to ask you the same question in a way what you have have interviewed her a number of times and you've you've delve deep into her career as a scholar but also undoubtedly i would imagine as a reader and as someone who who's thought about her words on a personal level as well what what's stays with you about about her writing. What is carried meaning for you over the years. I think it's the language <hes> that is is just so wonderful and so beautiful. I think the point that trust he makes his one that i would echo the way that she owned her story and wrote from the position of culture <hes> without any remorse without thinking about it twice but to be clear that the implied reader the assumed reader was a reader who came out of the culture that she wrote from was was something that was not especially typical in the era where she was writing and i think about the opportunities that i had to interact with her and to think that this genius of a person is tracy was suggesting wasn't so self serious that she couldn't also be down to earth and appreciate the work that others did on her writing. I can tell you she was very often interested in seeing what the critics said about the work that she was doing so she was is generous in so many ways and really just a very pleasant pleasant <hes> gift in a wonderful contribution not only to african american letters at american letters but really to the the world in her work as an author but also her work as a teacher and especially as an editor and we'll talk a bit about more about that as as the show unfolds today we'll be hearing passages of work but also wanted to hear her voice some to here's here. She was in nineteen ninety three. That's when tony morrison won the nobel prize in literature. She began her speech table about the power of language and delivered. This often recalled insight word were is sublime. She thinks because it's generate it make meaning that secures our difference our human difference the way in which we are like no other life we die that may a b meaning of life but we do that may be the mation of our lives. Dean williams unpack that for us. What did she mean. Oh i think she was so clear about the significance of language <hes> and the way that people understand each other in the human condition becomes a little bit clearer to us because of the words that we use whether they're positive words or in the bluest eye for instance. She helps us to see how they can be damaging. Words we see those uplifting words in works like sulum ensemble solomon and of course in beloved. I think she says it very clearly to and that quote where she says she was a friend of my mind i think everyone who is thinking about tony morrison in these days <hes> with think about out her as a friend of our minds. I wanna take a call now from boston. Massachusetts <hes> also interested in paying tribute. I think to tony morrison. A chitty is on the air. Thanks for recalling in high well. Thanks for taking my call. My full name is shitty. Thebenz watch have a son <hes> and i just wanted to make a point <hes> about twenty percents relevance to not just the american audience but to the global on to the african literally renaissance that she on a number of people <hes> where spearheading i mean she adored my father. My father her there was a whole <hes> school of black uh scholars and intellectuals <hes> for whom she was upbeat and we're terribly and i just wanted to let you know how important thank you <hes> pity obviously moved by by the life and also of course the the death of tony morrison <hes> the son of <hes> chinua achebe of course famous nigerian american novelist. He wrote a book things fall apart. Let's take a moment in and i and <hes> if you don't mind tracy mcmillan cottam to acknowledge what he was talking about some ways this fostering of other african american <hes> novelists <hes> a- as an editor and later as renowned writer but also of african writers as well. How important was that in the past half century <hes> tony morrison ourselves said many times that <hes> the set of questions <hes> that drove her when she sat down to create a narrative <unk> a story were informed questions that she wouldn't necessarily embed in time you know she played a lot with linear time <hes> which a lot of scholars have rightfully critiqued as being sort of a western construct she understood time as being something far more malleable <hes> than linear time with suggests adjusts and part of her reason for that is because she understood and i think deeply appreciated and loved <hes> the narratives that have produced us that sometimes uh-huh had to exist outside of that time because of the middle passage and enslavement and the ties that had been broken in linear time between african nations and african american <hes> nation with the african american nation within the nation and instead said that those stories still existed the that time existed in the stories and the narrative ear to get inherited she talks about the oral tradition for example of <hes> african american culture always links to the narratives and the stories stories that we ahead inherited whether we always could uncover their history or not due to our ability or inability to do so because of how we came to the the american shores and so it is not surprising that that would resonate that gave that that would resonate with people living across the diaspora because i think think tony morrison spoke to the die aspic connections between black people no matter where they were living that are all traditions had kept a history of us together even when and so many forces of colonization had tried to erase and rewrite <hes> those histories so it's very moving <hes> by the way <hes> to hear that that emotion <hes> today is a motion. I think a lot of us are feeling but no it is not surprising. She called out to our connections across man-made western time all of the time and all oliver work and dina williams were just very briefly and we'll pick this right up after our brief break but remind us just a brief list of some of the writers that she helped to foster the one i mentioned right now is <hes> contemporary african literature anthology where she was able to actually edit chinois bays and to include some of his work and while they showing an <hes> in google in this anthology that she was so proud of its remarkable record indeed were discussing the legacy and influence of tony morrison. You can join our conversation sation. Which books do you celebrate. What characteristics of a writing matter to most. I'm david folkenflik in this is on point. This message comes from on on points sponsor indeed when it comes to hiring you don't have time to waste you need help getting to your shortlist of qualified candidates fast with indeed indeed post a job in minutes set up screener questions then zero in on qualified candidates and when you need to hire fast accelerate your results with sponsor sponsor jobs new users can try for free when you sign up at indeed dot com slash n._p._r. Podcast terms conditions and quality standards apply. It has already been unav- vengeful summer in politics yeah between the twenty twenty debates and the president's battle over immigration. There's a lot going on and win. There's there's news. You need to know about the n._p._r. Politics podcast is there to tell you what happened not to mention. We're hitting the road so you can meet all of the twenty twenty. Contenders appeal is going to join me. Louis crazy the n._p._r. Politics podcast subscribe. This is on point. I'm david folkenflik today. We're remembering the writer tony. Morrison author of such books says the bluest eye soula song of solomon beloved jazz and god help the child. You can join our conversation. How did morrison's work affect you follow us on twitter. Find us on facebook facebook on point radio. We're talking with dana williams. She's a professor of african american literature at howard university and president of the tony morrison society where else have with us tracy mcmillan cottam a professor of sociology virginia commonwealth university. She's also the author of thick and other essays and exploration exploring the identity and experience the defines black womanhood in america in a few minutes. We'll hear from the writer russell banks as well. I wanna play a couple of clips for you. Just one is just a tribute could've been offer this week but there was actually a offered in twenty twelve from president then president barack obama when he awarded morrison the presidential medal of freedom introducing the author by citing her early days of writing <hes> when she was a single mother working for a publishing company by day and finding tined in the evenings too right with her sons as she put it pulling on her hair and tug earrings circumstances may not have been ideal but the words that came out <hes> we're magical toni morrison's pros brings us that kind of moral and emotional intensity that few writers ever attempt from song of solomon to beloved tony reaches us deeply confusing a tone that is lyrical precise distinct an inclusive. She believes that language arcs toward the place where meaning ming nightlife and the rest of us are lucky to be following along for the ride. One of the questions raised by some of her critics white and black was was the the fact that she did not populate her books with white characters. Here's a nineteen ninety. Eight interview conducted on sixty minutes by ed bradley where <hes> he asked morrison arson about that very question. There are no major wide characters in your books. No the black narrative has always been understood to be a confrontation with some white people. I'm sure there are many of them. They are not terribly interesting to me. What is interesting to me is what is going on within the community and within the community. There are no major white players once once. I thought what is life like if they weren't there. Which is the way we lived. We lived it dana williams what was the result result of that insight of that impulse on her part on her literature but aside from that wonderful irreverence i think it is what allowed her to take the particularity of the black experience and show how it is indeed universal that the human questions that we're asking about this condition are questions that aren't related specifically to race what is good what is bad and even the question of the interrogation of that question so one of the things that i think she actually learned from the african writers she edited and she read and she admired was that ah these things are far more complicated that binary relationships simply don't work which is why i think in the short story that she writes. She won't give us the race of the character and similarly she does that. In paradise the novel where we know she shoots or the the white girl has been shot. I but we don't no who's a white girl is and her commentary about that was if you're so invested in figuring it out work your way through the story and see if you can figure it out but once once you realize how little race matters ultimately in the construction of national identity then you may be able to get on with the story and that story can then be told from the perspective of black people and moving those stories to the center from what was otherwise the margins for other people but as she she indicates had always been the center for her and people in our community and that was different in some ways than if you think of invisible man you know or i guess even james baldwin that there was sort of this relationship with whites that seem to be inherent in their writings she she located herself a little differently in her writing a little differently. It seems absolutely absolutely not just her work but in the folks that she edited she was very clear that she didn't want to spend any more time dealing with the white gays or with the white character with the white implied reader but it gets really complicated and interesting and cute if you will because of course the bluest eyes like deconstruction deconstructing deconstructing the american primer with this is the house that you know the white family lives in with the picket fence and the dog and when you deconstruct that to begin to think about how that experiences the same in some ways different in other ways from the traditional white experience and you see how she's playing in with narrative and of course when she does just that with playing in the dark to tell us how what we think is one story is changed when you introduce color. Can you introduce blackness and you introduce that africanus presence tracy mcmillan cottam. You know it's interesting we just for dana. Williams mentioned the bluest eye her. I book written. I guess after she had worked on it for five years she was an editor at that point syracuse for an offshoot of <hes> of random house and they started really recognize her talent right but you think about that the bluest eye her first book nineteen seventy and our final novel. I think in two thousand fifteen god help the child or very much about race and about the the way i take it is the internalisation of white racism among african americans. There's a little girl in the bluest eye who who wants blue eyes. She's a black that girl. It's not going to happen for her. In god help the child <hes> the character bride struggles with being rejected by her lighter skinned parents due to her dark complexion so so race and racism and even <hes> the construct of the way in which whites think about blacks very much a part of what she wanted to write about yeah. I i think though to write about what is done to you and how you resisted or survive it and construct meaning and life life within it is different from centering <hes> white racism in the story <hes> what i think dana elegantly points out in one of the things things that i think so many black writers especially women writers loved about tony morrison is that she made a distinction between <hes> our project of understanding understanding the complexity of black life would of course necessarily engage with <hes> the things that have been done to us the structure that had been put in place around round our lives but that did not necessarily dictate all of the complexity of our internal lives and <hes> for example in the bluest eye <hes> yes piccola wants <hes> blue eyes but it's not blue is that she wants she wants what blue eyes would have represented right that is again tony playing with the <hes> <hes> with the metaphors and grounding them in material culture <hes> that would feel relevant to black people because she loved people and she knew what i'm going to material culture was but another perhaps <hes> <hes> another author would have centered the white girls telling of beauty for example in such a story and instead what tony gives us is a story that is not about actually talking to any actual white girl right her engagement with learning about what whiteness means is beauty construct and what kind of capital is associated with that comes through a doll for example <hes> and then is multiplied applied by the violences that are acted upon her by the people who actually look current so one of the things that you get a toni morrison novel. I think one of the hallmarks of them anyway anyway is a complex rendering of black life as dana points out. What you start to understand is that there is no by near a good and bad when you strip away the white gauge then have the time and the space to explore precisely that the nuance of what it means to internalize a a narrative of self hate could be just as much about color- ism as tony morrison also explores <hes> in her work as it is about <hes> valorising whiteness as a beauty ideal so you you can't even get to some of those complexities when you're so focused on telling a story that will center the comfort in the narrative rid of white characters and so yes she deals with racism but she deals with it in the way people experience it rather than the way people turn into an anthropology projects projects. You sorta resist <hes> that outside gays wanna take a couple calls people. <hes> readers wanted call into their perspectives as well. We have a call now from richmond virginia james. Thanks for listening and calling. Hello everybody <hes> i just wanted to. I comment on what was just said. I totally agree with with that that <hes> martian the focus on <hes> the way people experience racing how i if she really didn't hype on you know the the the classic story of black and white eagle it was done in a in a better in such a magic way. That's what my comet it was. I i got a chance to see her at <hes>. I'm i attended virginia commonwealth university and she came to v._c._u. Think about fifteen years ago. I'm not kim nothing it's two thousand and two and <hes> it was that was the most striking thing to me was just her ability to have for language magic into it and just the characters i was introduced to her. <hes> the freshman english class and <hes> the first the first book we read with song of solomon and it exchanged changed my perspective on how the black store was told because i always thought it was just a a singular thing insulin things this is what happened to black people in and aw that's all there was to but now i just thought it how she captured people in how she how she talked so heavy talking the interacted with each other with all of this other stuff going on around him that these were things that stories and messages and images and things that actually transcended great so on one hand it it was about what happened to these people every day african americans however messages which isn't such a higher level and that's what made her i think great and she's a truly an artist. It will miss and i wanna thank you for the time and also miss the focus. They say i'm apologetic. Hurt hurt <hes>. Sorry about the loss of your father. Oh that's very thoughtful. Thank you so much for acknowledging that and thank you so much for being a listener. We appreciate it now. Joining us for keene valley new york is russell russell banks. He's a novelist and poet. His works continental drift and cloud splitter were finalists for the pulitzer prize for fiction. He was also a longtime friend of tony morrison. They taught together for years at princeton university. Where banks is still a professor emeritus. Hello russell banks. Hello so tell us about your friend. Tell us what insight you have into her. <hes> as a person that may have informed to she was an author and public figure but that we may not know right <hes> well i think <hes> tony and i met <hes> around the middle eighties <hes> and then she was colleague from that point on and very quickly became a friend <hes> and i think we bonded <hes> <hes> they're <hes> initially over cigarettes and wine and laughter and politics <hes>. She used to sneak down the hall from in her classroom. <hes> to my office <hes> 'cause you couldn't smoke in the classrooms and we would sit by the window of my office and smoke cigarettes and gossip and talk politics <hes> she was <hes> she was a very funny person <hes> and loved to laugh and and i think it's probably probably not widely known she really likes the company of men and she knew we were ridiculous <hes> and and dangerous the interest in and and that we needed constant instruction and correction and thought that was worth doing <hes> for or <hes> the benefit as she saw it <hes> of our company so she was a great person <hes> to <hes> to be <hes> to be a man and to be close to <hes> <hes> i loved it very much and we remained friends <hes> long after i left princeton and and <hes> and then she retired but <hes> we still saw each other on the road and whenever possible over the years right up to <hes> just recently russell banks <hes> you alluded to her wit slide sort of transgressive spirit it sounds like <hes> in the hallways of princeton's campus dina williams also talked about her as as a as a very funny mischievous force. How did you see that play well. He she didn't tolerate fools gladly but she loves them <hes> and <hes> that that part of her a ah that was really a great humanist <hes> and and so i think the warmth of that love is what <hes> came forward <hes> <hes> often came forward and in a sly put down or <hes> a <hes> a quick but <hes> but winking correction in <hes> and and and she wasn't a joke teller but <hes> but her warmth was really came across <hes> and it came across in a humorous and uh endearing way obviously you are very prominent novelist yourself what what you note about her work that set her apart or particularly that influenced silence writers that came after she is there is no one i mean you can't overstate her importance. <hes> i like to think that <hes> there are three <hes> central images in the american narrative the making of the american immagination <hes> in literature and that that <hes> there is that white whale and then there's that kid that homeless boy on a raft going down to mississippi and then there's the slave mother who <hes> sacrifices sacrifices her child <hes> rather than center back to slavery. Those three images are central. <hes> you can't think about the american <hes> imagination you can't have an american imagination without those three images and she is equal to two twain an equal to melville in my mind. Don't that's quite a testament indeed you you mentioned <hes> the third obviously being the the plot line although not the total of the novel beloved the <hes> which is so painful but in some ways a reflection of the intense love between mother and daughter you know as evinced by her decision to kill her baby and and then then having to reckon with her daughters ghosts returning to talk to her. It's it's such a powerful and complex <hes> and i think lasting being <hes> metaphor that <hes> we'll never be the same <hes> <hes> without it as we were before. What do you think precisely that's a metaphor for. I think it's a metaphor for the cost of slavery if nothing else <hes> the price <hes> of slavery and it's paid <hes> by both both weight and blacks in america in the about minute we have left with our conversation here russell banks before we relinquish you you know let's say you're called back back in princeton. You're going to teach a seminar this fall. You're going to talk about tony morrison to a group of freshmen who have not yet been introduced to her. How do you introduce her work. What do you tell them oh. I would probably start with two novels of hers that aren't as widely discussed as the great big ones of like beloved and and song of solomon and <hes> that's one recent novel called home which is a story of a veteran from the korean war returning to the south to his home <hes> a beautiful and profound a novel and then the other one. I would like to teach and talk about with students suspiciously undergraduates. Maybe just coming to her work. Freshly is a mercy <hes> which is historical novel set in the in the late <hes> early eighteenth century and it's about the bond between the poor <hes> indentured servants and <hes> and <hes> slaves wave and it crosses racial lines <hes> to talk about class in a way that <hes> some of her work doesn't get to <hes> those two. I think would be great door openers for the rest of her work. For the the larger more formidable novel you're hearing the words of the novelist and poet russell banks longtime friend brendan colleague of tony morrison. Thanks russell for joining us today and we're going to beat continuing to talk with dana williams and tracy mcmillan cottam scholars <hes> who are helping us us to discuss an honor the late writer tony morrison. I'm david folkenflik in this is on point <music> <music>. Hey it's medina hossen host of n._p._r.'s latino u._s._a. Every week we bring you a mix of reporting diverse voices and coverage of current and emerging issues that impact our lives. Let's say is one of a kind featuring stories from the heart stories that make you think and maybe even inspire you into action. Listen and subscribe now. This is on point. I'm n._p._r. Media correspondent david folkenflik. We're celebrating the life and legacy of toni morrison who died on monday. You can join our conversation. What is twenty more since work mean to you. Follow us on twitter find us on facebook at on point radio. <hes> wanna take a couple of quick calls before we join <hes> rejoin. Our guests. Savannah is calling from new york city <hes> savannah. Thanks for listening what your thoughts on twenty morrison. I think you so much for doing the segment <hes> before. I say anything i just want to offer offer my condolences to her family and friends and the people who really knew her. You know we're feeling the loss <hes> in the next essentially almost <hes> but she was a real person and she had real friendships and family ties and i just wanna say you know offer my love and prayers to her the people in her in her life <hes> i think first of all i'm part broken. <hes> you know she is a seminal voice for me. Being a white woman i cannot and i will not deign to claim her as giving mia voice <hes> but as a writer as a as an artist as someone who strives to be the most compassionate person i can be someone who wants to be versed in culture. She changed my life. <hes> you know i i read soula and song of solomon when i was sixteen years old high school and she blew my mind she you just opened my mind in a way that <hes> as as a musician a singer her language was so musical and and n. touching and had the ability and still has the ability <hes> i just a month ago reread home and her language has this incredible ability to tie people across races across cultures and belief systems because she speaks to the real human condition the tragedies the losses the the successes the beauty of it and i just i can't i can't express my gratitude to her enough and really changed my life and yet you just have and we appreciate that contributions van. I want to take another couple of quick calls as well. <hes> <hes> gene is calling in from boston. <hes> gene your thoughts. Hi <hes> thank you for taking my call. <hes> it's hard to say much more than so. Many of your eloquent readers and listeners have <hes> russell banks is another one of the people who is in the amazing using voice in literature and i loved all he had to say about tony morrison <hes> i am a professor and i <hes> in addition to teaching in a regular other classroom setting i work with women on probation who <hes> many of whom have been in prison and <hes> i've done this for twenty seven years years at <hes> and i have always used i've used five of toni morrison's book but every single one of them has had a profound effect on my i students life and when she died and did a women out of prison and they're now doing their own lives but they were struggling deeply at times times when i had them in my classroom and the reason i used her work is she speaks so beautifully to the struggles that women have and she talked so much to the women that i taught and they wrote me i got i got emails from two different people saying as soon soon as i heard that she died i thought of you and i thought of our class and i thought how much i learned from the bluest eye which was probably the one that touched the women the most i in my class because they deeply understood the struggle number one to deal with someone who had sexually should we abuse them and thought it was love which is the thing that tony morrison does so profoundly that she does her characters without judgment different and so even charlie who is an abuser becomes someone who you can understand. It's not just the child whose abused music but it's the person who abuses that is absolutely profound and so for the women that i taught they they we asked that question in the classroom of each other. Do you think he thought it was love and even though they weren't talking about their own abused they were talking about their around abused. So that kind of affect that kind of deep understanding of one's own life is what i believe she gives to all of us to her readers and to the country so much for that gene we really appreciate that tribute and briefly won't take one more call from medford massachusetts time rachel. You're on the air uh-huh. I could easily speak to twenty more since amazing influence as a black woman i had never seen myself reflected in literature but mostly i was lucky enough to see tony in person. Just one time at sanders theatre at harvard university a couple of years ago. She did a series of lectures and totally full halt. You read from beloved. She took questions from the audience and at one point <hes> just to speak to her humor. <hes> person the balcony stood up and said tony morrison what brings things you joy and she looked up from the stage and let directly at the person who asked the question instead sex the the entire audience erupted after a beat and it was just it was so real impersonal as many spoken to blow warmth and her humor and <hes> i just i. I love that anecdote. I loved it that was kind movement that i got to show her and thank you for sharing it with us rachel sex and my writing in that order apparently so we have with us of course staying with us this entire hour been dana williams professor of african american literature and chair of the english department at howard university twenty more since alma mater as well as tracy mcmillan ellen cottam. She's a writer calmness professor of sociology at virginia commonwealth university. I do wanna play a a clip that speaks to something that people have raised aced about her. Not only is african american writer but as a woman writer in the pieces. I am a documentary <hes> twenty more than said that navigating a white male world was not threatening. It wasn't even interesting. I was more interesting than they were then. She told the story of her first publishing job. I believe it was in syracuse at l. W. the singer an offshoot of random house publishing a place whereas at many places men were paid more so i went to my boss and i didn't raise me as much as you get my colleagues and he said yes but nested here but i'm gonna tell you so. I am head of household just like you. You may think i'm colored or woman. I guess i'm the head of household just high you yes. I got three. I didn't williams you've interviewed tony more in a number of times and you've also performed a really extensive work on her career as an editor at random house as well as a writer how important important <hes> and how much of her outlook is a writer was informed by her gender hirola not only the head of household but as as a woman. I wonder if we can really answer or even ask that question some ways because i think it was just a consequence of the reality reality so she was very clear. I am a black writer. I am a black woman writer but as she indicates in that quote she thought of herself as head of household which meant she should earn as much as anyone else and she similarly thought of herself as a human who i think she would say happened to be a woman. Now we can think about the different ways that she talks about women's liberation the ways that she talked about feminism and head of relatively ambiguous relationship <hes> with them. I think when we think about her role as editor especially surely you can see some of the ways that she communicated with the team authorities or or her supervisor's or really. I would probably describe it as colleagues colleagues because it certainly is the way that she interacted with him in correspondents to be clear that she had an authority as an editor and it was not to be taken lightly. I'm i'm so she would make the case for her authors with as much enthusiasm and as much bigger as she would if she were the writer herself because these were are lesser known writers who didn't have established careers but she would go in and argue. This person deserves this advance because this book is really solid and you gave this man who who is a first time novelist a three thousand dollar advance. You will give this woman a three thousand dollar advance and it wasn't a question. It wasn't kind of will you please it was no this is how this will oh work it seemed as though <hes> in reading back on her time as an editor that some of the biggest figures in american publishing as soon as they they read her first book were completely enraptured with her. It was not a essentially shoot her out of the publishing industry at a certain point well. Her editor actually had to convince her that she could write full time. It was after a song of solomon that she began to really. He trailed off as an editor in work exclusively on her writing because that's seven years later after bluest eyes published her first book wow but i think it's also because she knew how important the work that she was doing was so when you think of someone who edited huey newton's today for the people angela davis auto biography a little known book that i think we'll get a little more attention now that we're in conversations about reparations again boris becker's the case for black reparations melville hershkovitz is cultural relativism when you think about the work that she's doing this important work so we hear a lot about the black book in here a lot about how she thought that was significant for the culture but i think that she saw mission or she had emission orientation in her work as an editor. It was a little bit more than she was not sure that she could afford to work full time as a writer it was that she had this sensibility that i have a responsibility responsibility to the culture not just as a writer but as a producer of culture as well so she continued to work with authors like gail jones tony kaye bombar even even as after she was a celebrated writer and she actually used her owned status to promote these writers so she knew that she could get a review two of her author's books in the new york times because later she might promise them a review of her book for instance tricia mcmillan cottam. We talked a little bit earlier. In the show about how she was not you know she was actively not interested in engaging the white gays right and reflecting things through how whites might look at it or who through how weitz might look at her writing right she was wanted to reflect life as she experienced it as it as it as it was and as it felt like it was even as she often woe tales of of of magical realism around her characters that said there were criticism at times of her even <hes> or at times especially by black writers saying hey you're writing some stuff about some pretty unflinching looks at behavior. That's not appealing about attributes that are not welcome for us to focus on <hes>. How did she deal with with that criticism well. There's always been a tension <hes> in what the african american creative projects should be if it should be one about writing a counter narrative of black greatness or if it should be an excavation of humanity the in the black experience. I think what tony morrison understood is that those two things are actually not at odds and something as a writer that i absolutely take from her and if said <hes> in my own way <hes> both as a professor and as a teacher and as i do my own intellectual work is that one of the most extraordinary things about any people now is that they are people that we did not need to construct a counter narrative a black life because in doing so we were still centering the story that had uh-huh white people had constructed about us and so the very first thing that tony morrison does when she dissenters whiteness in her narrative is she gets rid of what is i think and fundamentally a false tension which is that you know we must valorize black greatness and exceptionalism. <hes> antonis point is that our humanity mighty is exceptional it becomes even more exceptional given the consequences of our being human and how much an entire world system system was devised and built to delimit black humanity if we are still human under those conditions in all of its glorious aureus messy nece that in of itself is exceptional. There is no tension <hes> their <hes> tonio we started she said to tony morrison often said that she she would start her work with the question <hes> that would animate her character selection of characters and narrative and setting and plot <hes> and i think of that fundamental curiosity acidy about the black experience as being one that really didn't need justification to her critics love who who lodged i think that point <hes> and i'm clearly sympathetic to what those critics are saying but i very much like her thinks that if the work is meaningful <hes> if the work centers a a meaningful story in project and it puts forward a meaningful set of questions and puts at its centre how black people go about creating eating a life and keeping culture alive <hes> against that backdrop then the questions about whether or not valorize us are not actually the good or interesting questions as tony say just not interesting before we wrap up. I wanna play a clip of for morrison was reportedly friendly with <hes> oprah winfrey for more than thirty years. She appeared on the oprah winfrey show in the late nineteen ninety s and here's what she had to say about her children here. When a kid kid walks in the room your child or anybody else's chow do does your face lighter or and that's what they're looking for. Uh when my children used to walk in the room when they were little. I look at them to see if they had buckled. Their trousers of the hair was combed of their stocks. We're up and so you think your affection and your deep love is on display in 'cause you're caring for them. It's not when they see you. They see the critical face and what's wrong now but then if you let your as i tried from then on to let your face speak what's in your heart because when they walked in the room glad to them it's just the smallest that tracy mcmillan cottam we have less than a minute left but i did want to end on this hope so she lets the humanity and the love shine through even these books that are often about dysfunction pain and tragedy well. Yes i think she understood love. Love as a fierce thing that is often tender sometimes painful <hes> sometimes violent but she understood all of that <hes> to be an expression of type of love. <hes> i think i mean that is a very moving segment <hes> to hear talk about that that yet that the fierceness of of love is one dimension of love and so what we might think is a horrible story is in the hands of great artist still fundamentally about love. We've been hearing about the life of tony morrison. She died this week. At eighty eight an equal her friend and colleague russell bank said to herman melville and mark twain. I want to thank our guest tracy mcmillan cottam writer columnist and professor of sociology at virginia commonwealth university author thick and other essays. Thanks so much for coming back to on point. Thank you and i wanna thank dana williams. She's professor of african american literature and chair of the english department at howard university toni morrison's mater. Thanks so much for joining us dana. Thank thank you continue the conversation. Get the point web podcasts at our website on point radio. Dot org are executive producers karen shiffman meet. I'm david folkenflik in this is on point.
Be Free (Toni Morrison Tribute) - Episode 33
"Their favorite teachers we will never meet in eighth grade. My favorite english teacher signed us toni morrison's soula. I've always as love reading so it was nothing to jump into the book once. I was on those pages those words mesmerized me engulfed me hug me. It was probably one of the few times i it didn't procrastinate to the last minute to write a book report and ever since then i revisit that book as reminder that we all have a purpose. Even the worst of us had the best the reasons for being on this planet. I started blogging in two thousand and three as a college student ranson about her random undergrad ventures and blogging took on a life of its own home for me but right and gave me voice even when i thought nobody was listening still. I didn't call myself a writer until twenty twelve nine years after i started for me. The word writer was to sacred and honestly like i made up to something that someone like tony morrison would use to describe herself how dare i didn't feel like at earn title that people use for ms morrison we end in the same stratosphere yet club while we were in had i been listening and absorbing her words i i would have known that because toni morrison's words gave freedom to black girls and women to be who they want to be instead into the world as who they are tony's works teach us to be freer. She gave me the freedom to be who got purpose may be. It's like that quote of hers. The function of freedom is to free someone else tony morrison free meat. I can be courageous with my word because this giant sword with hers. Her words were convicting consoling encouraging. She treated us like grown-ups entrusted us with those letters to do as we wanted. If there's a book that she wanna read but it hasn't hasn't been written yet. You must write it. Miss tony told us that and who not to listen that quote appears on page two of my debut book. I'm judging you. The do better emmanuel. Her words literally been life's instructions for me. I took them to heart. Tony moore was unabashedly a truth teller beyond her works. Her interview showed how this woman dropped constant gems and worse to challenge a world that didn't check itself often that based on her voice. It wasn't just to make words sing going paper but to make your chest quake when she dropped a truth like her piece on the functional racism. Every interview was a masterclass and that quote. Oh it's the function. The very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining over and over again and your reason for being somebody says you have no language and you spend twenty years proven that you do somebody says your head is shaped properly so you have scientists working on the fact fact that is somebody says you have no art so you dress that up. Somebody says you have no kingdoms so you dress that up. None of this is necessary very there will always be one more thing i for one i count myself as fortunate to live in the space and time where tony morrison existed existed and was celebrated and revered. I never got to meet her or hear. Her speak live but that would have been a bonus. I feel content because what what more do i need from the woman who gave you permission to be myself and to follow the crooked purpose of wordsmith in in the moments when i feel lazy when i wonder whether words matter all i need to do is pull up a morrison pros. All i need to do is recall. How soula feels like a person. I note all i need to do is read something about how song of solomon gays someone wings do words matter toni morrison's life and legacy is uncompromising proof that words don't just matter but what they breathe and saying and sore and those of us who right must right loudly to the rafters the stages were given their temporary what we say into those mics could be forever. Toni morrison taught me that you can be black. You can be a woman you can be gifted. You can be celebrated and give perceive your roses while oh you are still here. She's gone but her words are immortal along may her work rain. We hell you queen. Eighty eight years on this curse and your work is done but your impact is just beginning. That is a life well lived. May we all use our gift to light up the world so so thank you tony for affirming this black girl. The world is less brilliant today but the world is more than lucky to have had you. I say she's toni morrison first of her name architect. The words acclaimed author teller of truths shift of culture neta of noble prize in writing domino legendary laureate the people's professor may she rest in peace empower <music>.
Tuesday, September 1st, 2020
"Good Morning Libra. Today's Tuesday September first two thousand twenty. Tomorrow, the full barley moon will rise pisces bringing the goal we set weeks passed to fruition. If you've done the work. You can expect great rewards. This is libra today a cast original. Let's speak in your day. Tomorrow's full moon rises in your house of routines and rituals inviting you to celebrate a job well done. Honor the dedication you've shown to your work overall health and the dreams that blossom in your heart. Now take a moment to reflect on your relationships. Libra you catch more bees with honey than with vinegar. Try to get along with challenging personalities and those who seem intent on stealing your thunder. Don't let them see your frustrations. Contemplate the work you do and your career. Tony Morrison wants said if there's a book, you WanNa read, but it hasn't been written yet. then. You must write it take the initiative, build a future that excites you. Otherwise you can't complain about feeling discontent. Libra today is a daily podcast. Follow. On spotify to make it part of your morning routine if you're interested in learning more about your sign, download the sanctuary up from the apple APP or Google play stores, get your first reading today and follow sanctuary its sanctuary world on the ground. That's s ANC T. U. A. R. Y. W. R. L. D.. horoscope today is a podcast original.
Wednesday, November 4th, 2020
"Good morning cancer. Today's wednesday november fourth. Two thousand twenty mars retrograde in aries finds tension with venus in libra. You'll be inclined to play nice unless someone push your parents. If you feel backed into a corner all bets are off. This is cancer today. Apart cast original if you are feeling anxious depressed are overwhelmed. Better help offers. Licensed online counselors. Who are trained to listen help. Connect with your counselor through secure video phone chat or text. Join the one million. Plus people getting help with better help and horoscope today. Listeners get ten percent off your first month at better help dot com slash horoscope today. That's better h e l p dot com slash horoscope today. Let's begin your day your full of bright ideas but not everyone will be receptive to this. Innovation for many safety is along the tried and true path. Don't let this discourage you just discerning with your audience. Now take a moment to reflect on your relationships. Have you ever wondered whether you're compatible with virgo. You enrich one another's lives and encourage each other's ambitions in moments of doubt. You reassure one another. This union can be healing and supportive in toronto it with confidence. Contemplate your path to personal growth today. Consider this quote by tony morrison when you get these jobs that you've been so brilliantly trained for just remember that your real job. Is that if you are free. You need to free somebody else. If you have some power than your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab bag. Candy game cancer. Today is daily. Podcast follow on spotify to make it part of your morning routine if you're interested in learning more about your sign. Download the sanctuary app from the apple app or google play stores. Get your first reading today. And follow sanctuary at sanctuary world on instagram. That's s anc. T. u. a. r. y. w. r. l. d. khorishkov. Today is a park us original.
Growing Up With Toni Morrison
"This episode of the cut on tuesdays brought to you by for shadow frozen pizza. That's made better to taste better for pizza has naturally rising crust. One hundred percent real cheese jeez scratch made sauce and high quality toppings for shadow premium ingredients for a better tasting pizza from the cut and gimblett media. This is the cut on tuesdays. I'm your host molly fisher aw i started to write when i was in a lonely pays and i was riding riding really for me and not publication and not for anybody i was louis talking was the way of talking then so i talked to myself a hello. This is tony morrison talking to p._b._s. Back in nineteen seventy seven which means it's tony morrison before she was fully established as tony morrison just published her first book seven years before and listening to her talk. You can hear someone who still getting started. I certainly hope that i am a successful writer later but i know that if there were no publishing companies left in the world i would still do with it's a little crazy to listen to this. Now you hear the name toni morrison and you think of the literary legend a regal nobel laureate whose books are fixture on family bookshelves and lists of great american novels. That's the version of tony morrison that a lot of people my age and younger grew up with and ngop create a world where more people could imagine themselves doing what she'd done to this week. In the wake of her death. We wanted to hear from women who grew up in that world about how they first. I made their way to morrison's work and what it's meant to them over the years. She was a deity already before i was born like it was understood with human people like oh. This woman is everything. We'll start with britney loose. She's co host of the not my mom. She stayed at home with us in so oprah was always on four p._m. At least in on the east coast host it's four p._m. After school and oprah was not shy about choosing tony morrison for her but kopecks bernice mom watched oprah and brittany's mom bought those books so so they were always around the house and they felt familiar long before brittany had actually read them even just the picture of morrison on the jacket grandma. She looks like she looks like a like a cool auntie grandma when she also such a i mean tony is like such tony. Rhonda rosalyn like these are all good like auntie auntie sister cousin grandma friend name like if you're find his name rosalyn tony rhonda. This is somebody who you're going to be on the phone with like three three o'clock in the morning laughing. They always have the like. She just had a name. That was just so like tony morrison. It's like it's a complete sentence. I read the bluest eye. How old are you. I was probably fifteen or sixteen ha because it was around the house in have an oprah's book club pick at any of those that were in the house. I read them. The bluest eye was morrison's first novel. It came out in nineteen seventy but she'd started at years before in a writing group at howard university for a lot of the women we talked to the bluest eye was their first taste of tony morrison. It's a book that catch your eye. If you're ten or thirteen or sixteen years old it tells the story of an eleven year old girl going up in the nineteen forties. She thinks she's ugly and what she wants more than anything to have blue eyes like a white girl i i was growing up this mostly white suburb. I felt like i was sort of out of step with most of the other people around me but i didn't have the language for it and so when i first read the bluest i i was reading it sort of for the plot and that was like this is sad. I had understanding in the situationally in the book that she he thought that whiteness could save her from her life but like i didn't have a sophisticated understanding of of how that same sort of system of oppression was making me feel a certain way probably because maybe it was like two combination too obvious in too painful for me to be able to connect that back to my own experience in a way that like really would have made me feel like totally like oh man. I'm fucked act when she first read the bluest eye. Britney wasn't focused on what morrison could tell her about her life right now. She was more interested in what morrison had to say about her possible. Future about all the the thing she didn't know yet when it came to being an adult the mother and the father began ike having a sexual relationship and there was some way that she described it's something like about feeling all of the colors and things like that which is basically euphemistic for hanging orgasm or at least experiencing some sort of like carnal pleasure. Let's say and like it was just the most delicate but most tawdry like i was like. This is a door habit hit it yet yeah. I haven't had that experience somebody else yeah so. I'm like oh my god this is this is something interesting and there's also wasn't just just about the feeling or event it was about how that relationship drew her to this bound her to this man yeah and it it felt like real grown woman stuff and shit. It gave me a window into this idea that something else transpired hired when you had sex with somebody wasn't just like this. <hes> this physical experience there there was much. There's so much else attached to it. It was like you and another person really <hes> working together or or just yeah. It was just sort of like the piqued my interest. It made me like oh. There's more here so that was what caught hockberg needs attention the first time around but a few years later she read the bluest eye again and this time it hit her in a new way. It was the first semester of freshman year at howard university which is where i went and also wear tony went. I was in a all girls dorm and so the first semester were all in freshman composition like like our english class and they have read the bluest eye and reading the bluest eye among all of those black roles howard howard where she went and where she taught in their teaching this book <hes>. I didn't think about how deep that was but that was a pretty deep experience at night. They'd sit around the dorm talking about toni morrison. I had never really been around that large group of black women at once hearing black women from a variety of shades brown around skin dark skin light skin like you know different types of hair in all different types of facial features and everybody's sort of opening up about how they hit experience color ism or how they hadn't realizing that they hadn't and realizing what sort of like what was insidious about that yeah and not fair about that so it was like just like that book was an entry way to so many <hes> conversations that i had that i cherished <hes> with so many women who are so close to me now. I think that i felt pity when i read the book the first time i think that the second time only three years later i think i felt <hes> understanding. I think that it was always the magic of toni morrison's books. How do you think you would be different now. Were it not for your experiences. Reading tony morrison that thing about tony morrison is i think for every black woman especially every black american woman she made you feel like you deserve to take up space like there was a like. I don't know it's like there's this quote that she has. She is a friend of my mind. She gathered me man the pieces i am she gather them and get them back to me and all the right order. It's good you know when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind like like that is that is how i think she's like the best friend smart friend like the most like the friend that reading her books felt like just having somebody just make sense of you. Tony morrison wrote books folks. That got passed from hand to hand. Maybe from your mom or your cousin or slightly older cooler friend so first encountered her through. My older sister served seven years older than me so we hey lock is a news writer at culture. Last week actually wrote the blog post that broke the news of toni morrison's death. Do you remember the first taking morrison her sister shelf. So when i was eleven i remember just hanging out in her bedroom while she was doing something thing. Completely different not really paying attention to me at all that was just sitting around and to try to get her to talk to me. I was like oh which book from your book shelves. Should i read. I'm pretty sure she was very blase. It was very much like <hes>. Do we read the bluest eye so i just decided i'll read the book and then i'll have something to talk to my sister. Go and she'll be it'd be great although he was trying to impress her sister. The book itself snuck up on her reading. How morrison's protagonist felt about shirley temple bowl. She recognized something. She'd felt herself like the books and the t._v. Shows that are filled with white heroes. I really desperately wanted to be but but couldn't couldn't fully see myself in who'd you remember wanting to be or who who was like that to you when you were eleven when it comes to mind immediately worry gilmore like i love gilmore girls. It's a good show but i remember wanting to like go to boarding school role in connecticut and have her hair with like being braid down her down her back. Sometimes i ever being like a liquor hair so beautiful and those alexis sexist dell is was there some big blue eyes yeah so for me reading. It was like two main lessons one racism bad and i sort of already become. I'm very familiar with that so i was like okay that but then also the idea at that these characters in books and t._v. shows i wanted thank you so bad weren't for the solution to finding who i was as a person a friend and i were talking about this. Recently you know like the question was what is a book that you know you are way too young to read and for me. It was the bluest eye. I'm not too so as co host of call all your girlfriend. She discovered morrison's the bluest eye to and even though it's a book about a kid it's dark not just because it's dealing with racism internalized in otherwise it also tells the story of a child who's raped and who becomes pregnant with her father's baby. I ran the bluest. I i wanna say i was nine or ten. I was very very precocious. Reader reader so i just picked up everything around the house and i remember very much realizing as i was reading it that this was not something my parents could no. I was reading and i just i remember just feeling so both this feeling of like wow these are really adult themes but also these are things. These are things that are happening to me. I'm i'm a survivor of childhood sexual assault and reading. This book was really <hes>. It was really i opening. I remember just feeling really affected by <hes> by the story and saying like okay. This is not a thing. I can talk to my mom and dad about because i like grab moslem. There was like a lot of shame it was somebody who was like very close to our family as he was abusing me but this book was a place that i could dive into to really just like to process. I just kept thinking thinking like oh. This is the thing that happens to people and it's obviously very bad but also it will not destroy you like i think that for me. That was the overarching feeling doing. It made me feel less alone. Every time i pick up that book. It's something that it it hits me like a ton of bricks. Every time seeing your life mirrored that away in a book it's a powerful experience and as i got older and got to know the rest of morrison's work. She realized it was bigger than anyone story. It was a whole way of thinking about what stories could be and who they were for just how much pleasure and pride and urgency she took in the fact that she wrote about black people for black people. I'm thinking about the interview that i like. I watch it all the time on youtube and now i can't think about who the interviewer is but actually who cares the interviewers. The clip immune is talking talking about is from an interview. Tony morrison did in nineteen ninety eight with australian journalist. John event vent who is white looks very serious as she turns to tony morrison and incest this. You don't think you'll ever change and write books. That incorporate wide wide lives into them substantially. I have done <hes> <hes> venus substantial. You can't understand how powerfully raise the question is any as you could never ask a white author. When are you gonna write about black whether he did or not or she did not even the inquiry comes from a position of being in the center and being used to being in the same gene used to being present and saying. Is it ever possible that you will enter demands chain is inconceivable that we're i already am is to mainstream exchange flips the question on its head and she's always like you never like all of the questions i get like center white. People actually like no like that's like that's racist and i i sent her myself and i sent her black people in my work and there's nothing wrong with that and i was like this is true. It's like i think about the you know the cannon that i read in college on high school cool and then tony morrison pointed. She's like you know like nobody's asking tolstoy like writing for are you writing for young russians is this is only for russian but i just i it sounds so i you know like i'm obviously making light of it and being a little flippant but i think that for so many of us that was that was game changing when she she never shrank. She wasn't provocative. She wasn't you know she was just telling the truth about who she was and and they really appreciate about. It always seems particularly unfair that when someone dies they're not around to help you through their death the one in person you don't get to hear talk about tony morrison dying. His tony morrison but death is something she came back to again and again in her writing after the break a ghost story. This episode of the cut on tuesdays is brought to you by tomorrow mellon tamara mellon. John is a new footwear brand for the next generation. They combine new school luxury with old school craftsmanship guaranteeing everything they make with shoe care for two years so i feel feel like you want to buy shoes. You can commit to like get them. Result get the he'll refinished polish them oil them all that i have no interest in anything disposable. I want something that's going to last last forever. That's a good shoe philosophy yeah to take your shoe philosophy to the next level and to get one hundred dollars off your first purchase visit. Tamara mellon dot com offer offer code the cut again. 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It's always there for you when you need it for shadow premium ingredients for a better tasting pizza welcome back today. We're hearing stories about discovering toni oni morrison and for some of the women we talked to after finding morrison for themselves. They wanted to spread the word. Laureate remembers doing just that. She's the founder of well red black girl and she is also a big sister. I had a habit of reading my little brother a lot and i would read in books that i didn't understand and i i him beloved. Oh my gosh i was young. I was probably like twelve or thirteen years old brother's five years younger so he was completely lee terrified but i remember like reading the scenes at him stop. This beloved is a ghost story. It's scary as hell beloved tells the story of her mother who escapes from slavery and chooses uses to kill her daughter rather than let the baby taken by slave catchers years later the daughter haunts. Her family is a literal ghost. Just as the legacy of slavery continues to haunt america erica. It's a lot for a seven year old or a twelve year olds to take in like going into like what is slavery with your little brother is just kinda like <hes> well well. I don't really know either but <hes> let's just keep going and does she makes me wanna move through it even like the hard part she makes you read read through the struggle and understand what she means because she is so she's done worse than so even as a young person. I knew that i wanted to like take this on wants wants to have this experience in doing that. With my brother was really was really fine for him. Maybe not so much but for me reading out loud to him and being like cabbie him him captivated by morrison to you like bonded is it was our things. Louis did together at the same time. Did you like scaring your little brother. I did of course online. We're five years apart so i do come up very very big sister and so i did love the fact that he believed everything i said and sometimes sometimes when i was quoting things like he thought he didn't know that was more than he thought i was making worried tony you know and it was just like my moments of feeling like i'm in charge and i. I have a command of language. Even though that's not the the words i would have used at that point but it was just it felt very adult and very refined yeah like i understand this. How do you think your life would be different now. If you're not read tony morrison oh fuck i mean oh i mean so much of my identity is built around morrison's fortitude and her ability to make you knock question yourself before i read morrison for sure i like lives in self-doubt. I didn't know if i had permission or is allowed to be was outspoken and as bold as i wanted to be even within the creation of wall red black girl saying well red black girl in itself is is a statement and i don't know if i could came to that conclusion without morrison to feel just really uninhibited and free to be myself when you're reading as a kid easy to grab onto whatever seems most sensational in an adult book. Maybe it's sex our coast. You come back to it later though and things shift go stories and jessica story oy. It's a different way of thinking about death caitlyn. Greenidge is a writer a few years ago. She was teaching a literature class and she decided to make it about ghost stories and and of course everything that she writes goes to mitt. There's always a haunting. There's always a person and that of many things that she writes about one of the things that she's really interested. Adam is is this sort of moving back and forth between these worlds between the living and <hes> she never calls it the dad she always calls it the not living and so i started to think about her work in those terms as well. When tony morrison writes about death she doesn't treat it as something final and caitlyn says that's drawing on a large tradition and that sort of other way of thinking about <hes> what death means is very familiar billiards. Anyone who <hes> is familiar with death in african american cultures or just the african diaspora in general well <hes> it's an understanding deaths that's based on this idea that death is not a finality and the dead are with us and and our our past is with us in a in a very real way and hunting is not something that is frightening or a curse or the bad thing it's just another fact of existence and you're sort of existing on these multiple planes and multiple layers and and you move through those things and they can affect your daily life your material life or spiritual life depending on whether or not you are willing to reckon with those oakland raiders reckon with go solve the time anyone who writes a book has to confront all the books that have come before and decide how to claim a place alongside them years ago caitlin. I was a kid who pulled the bluest eyes off her parents bookshelf. Now caitlyn's a novelist herself she and all the other writers we spoke to have just begun to reckon with morrison's ghost we die that may be leaning of life but we do ryan. That may be the master of our live. That's from the speech. Tony morrison gave when she won the nobel prize and as the people of eulogized her in the last week those lines they keep coming back to but the part that comes next is worth remembering to morrison used her speech to tell a story sorry she describes a wise old woman who's blind and a group of young people who approach with what sounds like a trick question they tell the woman that they're holding a bird the nascar oscar whether it's living or dead the woman waits a while before giving them an answer. She says the birds in your hands one. The time visitors asked an old woman a question. Who are the these children. What did they make of that. What did they hear. In those final words words. The bird is in your hands a sentence the gestures toward possibility a one that it drops perhaps with their children herve wise. It's not my problem. I'm old female by what with them. I have now is knowing. I cannot help you. The future of language is your all. The women we talked to said how their encounters with morrison had opened the the door to their own work how she told them in one way or another. The future of language is yours. I went to an event that she was at and i just sat close to the front row in grand at her like an idiot but i didn't try to speak to her because i was shy. This is angela floor ni- she's a novelist. Angela saw tony morrison onstage just a few years ago and at that point morrison certainly could have rested on her laurels. She had all the laurels in the world to rest on but what she you did on that stage was she put out a legal pad and it was something she had written like very very recently and she read it. She was still working working. You know <hes> she was older and she was in the wheelchair and probably had various ailments but she was still working and that was something something that was kind of like a kick in the pants for me. I can find any reason for it to not be the right time. You know to work angela. I read morrison's work when she was a teenager and it sparked something in her then years later. It was still sparking something. Morrison is a writer to discover henry discover and even now that our work is everywhere reading it for the first time can still feel like finding something. That's just for you back. When the writer ashley see ford was in junior high. She was always getting in trouble. It wasn't that she didn't care about school. It was that no one school seemed like they cared about her. She was always frustrated with arbitrary rules and lessons. I was sitting in classrooms reading in books along with my teacher and being ferociously board the because the book didn't have anything to do with the lives. Any of us were living because she was always questioning the teachers she was always getting sent to detention but when she was there all she wanted to read and one of the a few black instructors in my middle school was also the detention coordinator so he you know seeing being this was like you really don't belong here. You know i'm gonna send you to the library and the library actually was super mean and not like any of us excuse. I still don't know why should came a school librarian because she clearly eighty it but i was in there. You know and i'm going through the bugs. She's like i am me me and i just let me just find a buck and set out so i went. I saw this book and on the cover was a little black girl and the way her hair was parted and the darkness of her skin especially because at that time every book looked like a still from like the scene leanne from dawson's creek or something it was always just it was always like book covers for teenagers or younger adults were always just like white kids dressed like they listen to a lot of kirk obey and so i pick up the bluest eye and like it just looked familiar with like looking at a picture of my grandma when she was a kid you know or or even like my mom when she was a kid and and i sat down and i started reading. It and i didn't look up for the rest of the hour like i just did look. I didn't look up until detention. Coordinator came to the library was like hey. It's time to go and i was like. Can i check out this book and the librarian liam goes no and he was like wait what she can't check out a book from the library issues like let's not her library time and and so like you say okay. Let's all calm down. I'm pretty sure she didn't check out the ball and she let me check out the book. Finally i took the book home home and i finished it that day which was not uncommon for me. I've always been a fast reader love to read what was uncommon. Common was that after i finished it. I went back to the front and started it again. Here's the thing about that book. At twelve i read it and couldn't really understand it. I couldn't really understand the emotions and the debt and the depravity and and all of those things that were built in to this gorgeous novel. I couldn't see them all clearly but there was something about that book that told me like this is what writing can be and it just i opened up this world for me about not just finding good stories but also the interesting ways is that stories could be told and the powerful way that stories could be told and before. I read the bluest eye to be perfectly honest. I don't think i knew that anybody cared. A little black girl fought or how she felt. I thought i had been born into a world where nobody would care who i was what i thought what i could give what i contribute how much i love my huge capacity for love in some way school. Maybe feel like that in some ways my home life in a lot of ways. The world and media made me feel like that and i read this is book and realized that had been written by a black woman and that it was about a black girl and black world and a black past and a black family you know and black pain the thing about toni morrison's life for a lot of writers like me especially black women writers as that she doesn't just give us permission to write our world in our lives and our language but she also gives us permission to to write whatever the hell we why. I have a place that his mind. That's my work on. I right that's that's my this is toni morrison on oprah and twenty eleven. It is free on nobody tells me what to do. Uh and i would listen if they did. It's all it's my world. I have invented. These are my people my language and now i have come to believe that everybody needs want those places. If you have never read tony morrison listen don't feel ashamed about it. He's not you so again. Just pick up a book and start anywhere so start anywhere because i because i am never going to get to experience her for the first time again and i'm really jealous of the people well. That's it for this show. We're off next week so we'll see you next next tuesday. Also we are working on an episode about anxiety and we want to know the weird ways that you self soothe food. Are you watching tick tock when you can't sleep. Are you a stress baker. You reorganize your underwear drawer. When you feel like your life is falling apart and why is that the thing that works for you. Give us a call and let us know nine two zero three six eight three three four one again nine hundred zero three six eight three three four one. The cut on tuesdays is produced by sarah mcbean olivia. Our senior producer is kimmy regular for edited edited by lin levy and stella bug be mixing by among and peter leonard our music is by haley shaw emma monger and peter leonard our theme song is play it right by sylvan esso special. Thanks to john hopkins taylor alison davis ruth spencer side page on thomas caccia bochco and eric speakers thousand could on tuesdays production and if gimblett media and the cut the journal is a new podcast from gimblett media and the wall street journal about money and power on this show. We show you how a company's bottom line affects the decisions you make every day. Google's entire future is predicated indicated on it continuing to be the one place you go for the answer to all information. We follow the money and see where it takes us. This is one of the biggest financial heist that has ever happened period. The journal is out now on spotify or wherever you get your podcasts sponsored by marrow narrow and lincoln thanks to our sponsor for shadow pretenders pizza has naturally rising crust one hundred percent real cheese scratch made sauce and high quality the toppings for shut up ream ingredients for a better tasting pizza.
111: Profiling Toni Morrison
"Welcome to pure nonfiction podcast interviewing documentary filmmakers. I'm tom powers the documentary programmer for the toronto international film festival and artistic director of doc n._y._c. and this episode i talked to portrait photographer and filmmaker timothy greenfield sanders his most recent documentary is toni morrison the pieces i am profiling the nobel prize winning author her novels include the bluest eye soula sawn of solomon and beloved in the film. She talks about her motives to right sometimes uh-huh you nudged and sometimes you're just searching to make the writing interesting to me. It's not just writing. It's i. I don't know what this means that i have to find out timothy has a long history with morrison. He photographed her multiple. Times comes over three decades in two thousand six. She inspired him to undertake a film series called. The blacklist. Timothy directed three blacklist films in collaboration with elvis mitchell interviewing distinguish black figures from different fields. We hear the phrase blacklist or is that not you. Blacklists blacklist mean people to list that don't work anymore. Get treated like black people mothers others with his stories his cool. This isn't history to me black culturally. I had to fight. Virtually every single thing writing for me is keith. Who are we and what are we doing. Here just wanted to be somebody. I'm not the ambulance chasing the ambulance and never thought that i was only worth what they said. You get what you're caller event. Somebody else's problem. It's never been on really can be persuaded to think differently often identity human identity gone pimples. They talk about it. There's always going to kind of be an overreaction one way or the other for timothy's tony morrison film he collaborated with interviewer sandra guzman she was previously the editor in chief of latina magazine and conducted interviews for timothy's these films the women's list in the latino list the heart of tony morrison the pieces. I am is a long interview with the author. It's bands her childhood al`thood in lorain ohio her first career as a book editor and her effort to become a writer as a single mother of two sons. The film also includes testimonies from her friends and admirers like oprah winfrey. One of the characters says at the end of song of solomon and she was loved and she was does loved that is the anthem for any life. You can come to the planet and do whatever you do accomplish accomplish. Whatever you accomplish award no awards degrees no degrees successes no successes i think she captured the essence sense of what it means to be human to be alive and to have done well here on earth and we can say the same anything for her and she is my interview with timothy took place in may at the i._f._c. center enter before a live audience that included writer hilton ails who's interviewed in the film less than three months after our conversation. Morrison passed away at age eighty eight to begin. I asked timothy how he first met morrison in the early eighties that was <hes> <hes> when tar baby had just come out so <hes> song of solomon soula and bluest i had been published and tony was doing some press. <hes> i shot it for the cover of soho news which was kind of hipster weekly <hes> back then and you know we. We got along immediately lianne. We we talked a little bit about literature but particularly talked about the neighborhood. I lived in and i remember kind of walking tony to get a cab at the end and and we stayed in touch and then i started to do pictures for her for books <hes> particularly <hes> later on on a lot of the jacket covers and press stuff and <hes> i alluded to the time in two thousand six that was from the opera she in britain libretto for margaret gardner and we were doing pictures then <hes> for that and this beginning of the blacklist and so what were those sessions like come on what was the session with a photography session with her like compared to other authors that you think that it's always about getting the subject to trust you. Oh and that was something that yeah. Tony said to me a couple years ago. She said i. I let i let you see me you know and and the subject allows you to to get in there. It's never the other way around. You can never break down a subject really. I think i think the subject has to kind of let you in and tony trusted me early on i think in the picture show it you know we were a very collaborative portrait work that we did together so she had given you the inspiration to do this series at you embarked on with elvis mitchell the blacklist. Can you talk about how it went from the seed of an idea that she planted to what became attorney wanted to do. Black divas and i'm not an opera lover particularly enough that i would wanna. They do a whole project on opera but it started me thinking about just sort of african american talent in general that there was more than just oprah and barack obama they were all these other people that we could maybe interview and my idea then which now everyone does but was to do this sort of direct to camera <hes> talk where the where the subject is looking right at camera and it's just a very powerful way to do it. In those days earl morris was doing it. A couple of other filmmakers used it but it was rare and it was also my portraiture come to life so if you look at my portraits they're always director cameras single light source and it kinda gray backdrop so i wanted to turn that into film and one of the tricks. It's not a trick. One of the ideas here was that tony talks to camera. Only everyone else hilton ails right here. Second-row talks off camera <hes> they talk about tony and and i thought that could work. I've never seen it in documentary but the the main subject is looking at us and we have a kind of connection that way and then the others are talking thing about her and <hes>. How did you convince johnny morrison if it took convincing to do this film devoted to her you know i think when when the first blacklist film came out we all sat around thinking everyone in this film deserves a feature film this you know there's so much there's so many interesting stories and talents but tony was always the first in my mind tony was the first is set for the blacklist so oh it also a couple of years ago i realized tony was eighty four eighty five eighty eight now that if i'm gonna do it this time and i reached out to her and we talked about it and she you know she didn't say no and that's always a good sign in with tony and that really gave me the courage to cut it fine the funding and go back to her and say i have the money to do it in this was it's gonna be on television or the american masters was the idea back then it became because of sundance film that will now be in theaters. We're very excited with magnolia <hes> but i think tony you trusted me to do it. So what was the the process of interviewing her like. Sandra guzman who is credited in the film did the interviews didn't feel that i i am enough of tony scholar to do the interviews sandra drives a car that says soula on the license plate so at in love's tony deeply and really <hes> <hes> was very very eager to do this film and supportive and <hes> you know you who director you kind of create a space where everyone feels comfortable <hes> we. We did that the interviews the tony at her home so we set up apple studio. They're essentially a backdrop and did them there where she was more comfortable. The others all came to my studio in the east village and again. That's something you you do where you get. The person comes in and you offer some tea or coffee or you make them feel by the time they get to the set that they can trust this atmosphere miss fear now. There must be hundreds of people who are tony morrison. Fans are feel some connections that work that you could have chosen from in your in you very selective and deliberate about the people you did put into the film. Can you talk about curated collection of voices. It's it's very much. Tony's list <hes> there was a longer list <hes> that i had a lot of names on and tony took a nice pencil cross off and i i also you don't like to interview people and not put them in the film. There's one person we interviewed who's not in this film which peter sellars the theater director her and only because it was an easy way to pull seven minutes out of the film it's magnificent piece on shakespeare spirit tony <hes> desdemona that she wrote and othello and it's kind of conversation that happened between them at princeton and it's being the d._v._d. I guess but it's a wonderful wonderful piece but we pulled it and i don't like to do that. I liked if i'm gonna ask you to give me your time and sit for an interview you and be part of this. You should expect to be in the film. I mean there are so many extraordinary interviews on your sanchez. <hes> of course <hes> angela davis this still oprah's stands out as oprah and she brings so much energy to <hes> to her interview. I be remiss if i didn't ask you about filming with oprah we we went to oprah and we were told we have thirty minutes and we had thirty minutes and over gives you gold you gotta. You know she's very good at that. <hes> articulating a perfect kind of statement in a way right and she she actually broke down at one point. We didn't put it in the film but she was very emotional on she said at one point. I didn't expect to cry today. You know talking about tony morrison but oprah's deeply connected to tony you know did a lot with the book club of course but also really loves her and and you know it took me a year to arrange the interview but we got it. I've just heard anecdotally we we showed the film at the the miami film festival why work a couple months ago and <hes> i remember people saying i didn't know that chapter about her publishing career and other other people will say something else that they learned from <hes> from this film and and i wonder when you entered it obviously known her. You've done your research. It's about was their areas of her life or career that you came in extra curious about. I think the publishing career at random house is most people don't know about it and it's very important. <hes> you know there was a lot. This could be ten hours this film the problem ms this is such a gigantic life and we got so much material from the interviewees that it could have been easily three hours. It could have been in a ah. There's so much more there but we had to make decisions about what was important. I think <hes> her family. You understand her family in this you understand her where her grandparents come from her. You know all of the travels of her family. The migration great migration. You know the use of art art in the film is something i'm very proud of as well you see jacob lawrence's paintings in and that scene there when he talks about leaving coming to ohio so we try to incorporate other there's twenty two african american artists who gave us work for the film the the opening is by nicolini thomas who chad is here my producers who's a big fan and i. I didn't know mclean. I i loved her. I've always liked her work very much so i just called her and said you know we're doing this. Film on tony morrison jews consider doing a kind of collage opening waiting for us and she said i'm in you know and and that was the reaction of everyone who we reached out to from kerry james marshall to cara walker to all loran is simpson all of the different artists and and the music about ninety eight percent of the music is one one composer catherine bostick who's a musician from los angeles who we found on the internet and is just a brilliant brilliant composer imposer in the song. The end is hers. She sings it and she composed almost all the music. It doesn't shy on the wall where secrets burn brighter walk to the edge and dance with the duty free here in this conversation you serve of established. You're bona fides with your long history of tony morrison and she felt comfortable to have you do this film <hes> yet. Still people must look at this listened and thank you know. How does he get to be the guy who tells the tony morrison film and i wonder if you can talk about how you've come to answer that question for yourself. You mean the the white band who tells the tony morrison story <hes> you know i think it really comes back to trust that tony was very <hes> <hes> familiar with what i had done in film the blacklist series of course the latino list the outlets the translates the women's list all of those films about identity and she for the women's tony wrote the introduction and read it for us so she's she's very aware of these films and i think she knew what kind of filmmaker i am. I am and i also made it very tony had kind of been with me and other film home in the film. She saw what my crew was. How diverse was how much that meant to all of us to do that. <hes> tony makes decisions. It's kind of that kind of comes down to that and i think she i hope she saw the film and she's her comment. Was i like her <music>. I want to thank timothy greenfield sanders for speaking with me his film tony morrison the pieces. I am now playing in theaters released by magnolia pictures eventually come to p._b._s.'s american master series <music>. Thanks to our team series producer and northern swan and web designer cross ross strategy our theme music is composed by andre williams and our executive producer is rafael and they housing you can follow us on twitter instagram or facebook at pure nonfiction. I'm tom powers. You can follow me on twitter at t. h. O. m. powers you can read our show notes. Learn about live events and sign up for our newsletter at pure nonfiction dot net <music> <music> <music> yeah.
Visionary: Toni Morrison
"This message comes from n._p._r. Sponsor indeed if you're hiring with indeed you can post a job in minutes set up screener questions then zero in on on your short list of qualified candidates using an online dashboard get started at indeed dot com slash n._p._r. Podcast this is one a. I'm kimberly adams from marketplace sitting in for joshua joshua johnson in washington this week. The world lost a seer. I have a place that is mine. That's my work. When i write that's mine. It is free on. Nobody tells me what to do and i wouldn't listen if they i did that was author toni morrison the legendary writer died monday night at age eighty eight in new york state of complications from pneumonia morrison and was the first ever african american woman to win the nobel prize in literature. She authored eleven novels along with children's books and essay collections. Her novel beloved won the pulitzer prize in nineteen eighty eight. She made an indelible mark on american letters and america's understanding of itself through the lens of the black american experience agreeance she wrote from within the culture about the culture culture and for the culture and her work has affected the world. We asked you to tell us how toni morrison's work work had an impact on you. Here's some of what you had to say. This is jan from colorado. I was introduced to tony's writing with the boost die when i was in college college and i thought her writing was d- most exquisite i had ever which then years later i read beloved and i thought that was the most exquisite novel i had ever read years later. I worked in the film industry and my last film was the love it. I had the honor to meet her <music>. All i didn't get to speak to her. She came to that and i got to be around her for a moment and i'm really really sorry at her. Passing there was none like toni morrison. My name is jodie and i was devastated to hear of toni morrison's passing her body of work is transformative formative and meaningful impactful and when i discovered her writings and james baldwin writings ratings if it changed my life and career riding reaches people across all race religion and creed everything there she just was an interesting magnificent person i will miss telling him more and i and her legacy of literature will live on. That's how we keep living. I feel guilty. See i'm a teacher. I read every summer. I try to read one of her books. Every summer and i didn't this year but i will continue resting tease. The world has loss of great laureate but her literature your stories and your remembrances of tony morrison we'll drive today's show so as we discuss her life and legacy to help us with that. I'm joined now by dana williams. She's a professor of african american literature at howard university and the chair of the the english department. She also serves as the president of the tony morrison society dana welcome back to one a. Thank you for having me and from a studio. At smith college professor paula giddings she is a professor emeritus of african african studies at smith college and author of several books including when and where i enter the impact impact of black women on race and sex in america and the book ida a sword among lions ida b wells and the campaign against lynching. She worked at random in house publishing alongside morrison paula welcome to one a. Thank you good to be here paula. Let's start with you you as as well as dana new tony morrison as a mentor mentor and colleague paula. How are you dealing with this. News has been a very difficult <hes> few days as you can imagine but <hes> but i've been hearing from so many people you know tony with her work and her mentorship created a community and we are all talking to each other now and remembering <hes> about remembering things about toning about our relationship to her so that's been a positive part of of these days but very very difficult to the world is a different place now dana. How are you doing. I'm doing all right. I agree completely with what paul is saying that it's a difficult time i was talking to another one of our mutual friends pollen i miss morison's very close friend eleanor traylor the the other day and what she said very clearly and it resonated with me so completely she said i'm just devastated and it seems to be something of an overstatement. Perhaps we all understand completely that the world will be different without tony morrison in it dana. We heard a lot about in her biography this week but let's start briefly at the beginning. What was toni morrison's background general trajectory in the literary world. I'm so glad to hear that. Many people are getting the opportunity to see <hes> tony morrison the pieces that i am because i think it lays out for us quite beautifully loosely documentary. That was her story. Yes that is open in a number of major cities and i understand we'll be opening additional all cities of particularly after recent passing but that documentary lays out quite nicely for us on the background and really a her kind of intellectual development very early on she grew up in a community in lorain ohio which was surrounded by immigrants so her idea of of what it means to be a human and what it means to be a person living in the united states is informed by this reality that didn't have the traditional respect affect national boundaries. She really challenges us to think about what it means to be a part of an american narrative with so many of us have come from so many different places places. She also talks documentary a lot about the influence of her family. Having grown up hearing stories you mentioned oh go. I know i was just about to say we can talk more course about her intellectual development as an undergraduate student at howard at cornell and then again as a faculty member she was involved in so many different types of activities that it made it difficult to try to pinpoint specifically. Here's the moment where morrison emerges. I thinks she emerges straight from her mother and her father. You mentioned her hometown of lorain ohio. Working class industrial city twenty five miles west of cleveland which proved to be fairly influential on her literature and her world view. We got a voicemail from one of you who grew up in lorain ohio. My name is bill hendrickson. I'm calling from durham north carolina and went to high school with tony morrison in lorain ohio. I'm two years older than she was when she died. I'm ninety. She was eighty eight. I remember number her. I didn't know her but i remember her. As a tall slender african american woman in the high school lorraine was active in those days. This is world world war two with many industrial companies and we had people there from central america. It was kind of immigrant town and we all got together and i remember a tony morrison in what i'm referring to the radio show in the times <hes> how we all play together and she said that herself and it was a nice city and it was it's a nice time and <hes> read many of her books dana many of her stories and books take place in a mid western setting. Why was that was it just where she grew up. I think she wrote out of the culture that she knew that she was a part of and that's one of the gifts that she gave us. She never backed off from the particularity of black experiences and similarly didn't back off of the local experiences that she knew well so much happening in those spaces on and we had heard heard so very little coming out of that space out my was saying a couple of days ago that when we think about american literature very early on most people in critics are guilty of this as well associate that with the south because america didn't have this kind of formalized or really structured identity eh outside of the south end the confederacy and she rejected that outright but she did leave to study in what she called a space for black intellectuals in headed it to howard university. How did she find her time there. I think it was mixed at best down so while she was at howard she talked a lot about the challenges related needed to colorado but she was also a very active socially so it wasn't a situation as far as we can tell where she felt isolated or or will where she felt discriminated against on the basis of color in terms of internally or in the intra racial challenges. She talked a little bit about how how difficult it was to be in washington d._c. Where racism was very different from what she was accustomed to in ohio but while it howard she was a part of the modern dance club it and it's interesting to see some of the images now that we're saying all of which are wonderful where she's dancing but she was really invested in dancing thought at some point point about being a dancer she was participatory with the howard players a wonderful troupe that had done work abroad in all over the u._s. <hes> <hes> in spaces that we're both black and white and then i must of course include the kind of social things that we've heard about her being on the homecoming court at different points and being dean of pledges even at one point of alpha chapter of alpha kappa alpha sorority inc. We have many more stories stories to come and we'll celebrate. How tony morrison brought new voices into american mainstream literature do her work in the publishing industry. I'm kimberly adams of marketplace nice glad to be with you. You're listening to one a. from w. a._m._u. and n._p._r. Free support for n._p._r. And the following message come from carmax for more than twenty five years carmax has made it easy to sell your car they provide free appraisals and offers on the spot carmax will buy your car even if you don't buy there's in fact carmax has bought more than eight million vehicles to learn more and schedule your free appraisal visit carmax dot com. It has already been an eventful summer in politics between the two thousand twenty debates and the president's battle over immigration. There's a lot going on and win. There's news you need to know about the n._p._r. Politics podcast is there to tell you what happened. It's not to mention. We're hitting the road so you can meet all of the twenty twenty contenders appeal is gonna draw me completely crazy the politics podcast subscribe. This is one a. I'm kimberly. Adams of marketplace in for joshua johnson jeff and thomas emailed us my wife and i i read tar baby as peace corps volunteers tears in kenya in the early nineteen eighties and we were hooked. I've taught song of solomon to students at michigan state university. Sometimes when nearing the end of a morrison book i would delay finishing because i didn't want the story to end. Cindy emailed us the first time i read the book the bluest eye when i was a freshman in high school back in nineteen ninety. I cried because the young girl and the book was me. I two struggled with feelings of being ugly because of my darker skin tone tony spoke to the hearts of many young young black girls who did and still struggle with how beauty is depicted even during these modern times paula giddings for those that don't know what are the characteristics characteristics that mark a morrison work. Can you characterize her style and what made her work distinct. Well as everyone many people have talked talked about how lyrical her language was but with tony and i write and i'm talking from the perspective of person who writes history <hes> and tony really cracked the sky open for so many of us in terms of talking about the past and because you talked about the past <hes> from the inside out she had an interior. I'd you know when i listen to many of the comments of the people who are calling in and talking about tony one thing that ties them us all together is that she made us feel something not just into in terms of intellectual <hes> aspects of our work which is extraordinary as well but she made us feel because she really wrote from the inside out and she really told told us in so many words that you know we were. We are the universe we don't have to be. No one else has to be in our story that when we tell our story and a particular way retelling the american storytelling a global story and so you can really divide our think literature and <hes> writing about black culture you know before tony morrison <hes> and after tony morrison patrice art in accokeek maryland tweeted tweeted us morrison informed and deeply in deepened my feminism as a white woman of privilege. I needed to hear her stories. They cut to the heart. Let's hear here's some of morrison's own words about her entrance into the writers world. Here's a part of a speech. She gave for her academy achievement award from the canadian canadian gemini awards. I had no reason and no encouragement be a writer. I didn't think about it until i was over over thirty and i only thought about it then because there was something i wanted to read about and i couldn't find it. I thought everything i needed to read or wanted to read need had probably been written by somebody somewhere and at some point i discovered there was a silence <hes> absence a vacancy about somebody somebody i knew intimately which was young black female now there were books in with such character appeared but she was always a joke <hes> <hes> an instrument of somebody's pity or to add comic relief most people know tony morrison and as an author but before she was recognized writer she was an editor she moved to new york after her divorce to work at random house publishing as an editor transferring to new york city as a trade editor. She served as an editor at random house for nineteen years. This was a very important role for morris and dana williams. What did that role. Well look like and why is it so important to her story. Well it actually looked like everything from introducing new writers into the world onto selecting the cover of that writers book to making determinations about where where to market in how to market whether to have a book party or not. I'm consulting with the sales team about how to get that writers books on the shelves or in the front windows of bookshops because we tend to think about books and book sales only as we know them now but keep in mind major department stores were the major venues for selling books and independent bookstores and then there was also mail order or book of the month club so she did all of the work from getting blurbs from writers for the back of their books to selecting the the pictures to writing the copy for the flat. I mean it really was just an incredible feat in really challenging to imagine how she was able to do all all of it right herself at a certain point she certainly stopped editing in writing full time but she really midwifed a generation of writers leaders and made possible like essentially i think she encouraged writer so that she would have company is one of the things that i found the most remarkable about her anytime that we interacted with each other. She was very clear that she wasn't an anomaly that she wasn't exemplary that they were other writers who were yearly remarkable remarkable writers as well and so i think she really tried to get some company for herself and for the writers and i don't think it's an understatement to suggest is that african american literary studies as a standalone feel has a lot to do with the work that morrison did at random house where she published tony kaye bombarda angela davis quincy troupe henry thomas i could go on i mean from fiction to pros lucille clifton june jordan and then you know non traditional books as well like a cookbook or the black book or railroads about trained people and so on paula giddings you saw this firsthand as we mentioned earlier that you are the typist for morrison's first novel the bluest eye can you tell us about that experience and how you saw morrison in a sort of shepherding this generation of black authors through the process well <hes> i came to random house right after graduating from howard our university <hes> black editor by the name of charles harris recruited a number of us come into publishing which was trying to diverse diversify did that <hes> in that period so i was in the <hes> <hes> i met tony at random house when she came up to the trade eight division and i was in the secretarial pool along with a number of my friends <hes> and one day tony came to us and asked if we type something for her <hes> <hes> and we said sure <hes> and she said you know if you do it i promise you i will make you the best carrot cake you ever eaten re said shorts absolut absolutely absolutely emil a number of lived in a small <hes> shotgun apartment on the upper west side in new york and sure enough. We type the the pages <hes> she she came to their apartment <hes> she brought this wonderful carrot cake and it still is the best carrot cake yeah i have ever had and <hes> and later on we were typing parts of <hes> retyping parts of the bluest eye mhm <hes> there so it was quite extraordinary <hes> <hes> <hes> to think about someone like tony. They're in publishing at that time and i'm so glad by the way i want just want to say how important dina's work is <hes> on this so glad she's working on this aspect aspect of of tony's career but if i might say tony taught us how to because we're young pups in publishing which can be pretty intimidating at the time but tony the way she just walked in the world then she was older she was about. She was in her late thirties early forties. When i was just coming into publishing after after college and she was just fearless she was intimidated by no one <hes> <hes> she <hes> and she <hes> <hes> as she said in the film pieces that i am. She said i wasn't intimidated about any of those white males there her she says i was so much more interesting than they were and i wasn't afraid to show it you know and so we saw house she just <hes> just just in addition to the wonderful authors that she brought in as dana talked about <hes> just the way she handled herself and her your whole perspective of life was quite was was was wonderful and really important lesson for us and it's worth noting of the publishing industry to this day is still about eighty five percent white and it was even less diverse when tony morrison was coming up through the ranks. Let's hear another message from you. From in our inbox highlighting one of the other writers that tony morrison supported alan from sunset beach tony morrison was the person who really brought the work of henry moss to light after his death he was <hes> a black writer who was killed by transit new york city police officer decades ago but he wrote off in about the connotation tation of of blacks and whites and america and so does work has been discussed but he's also been club. I think the blackest writer <hes> by some critics <hes> african american writing but she was really largely responsible for bringing his work to light after he died dana. Can you talk a bit more about tony morrison as a mentor for black writers and other people even academics yeah i think it's important to think about her in that regard because there are correspondences between her in tony kaye bombarded for instance bombards <unk> incredible writer she's deceased now but she was also very close friends with ms morrison and the correspondence between the the two of them. It's i mean it's just laugh out loud funny in some instances a morrison say for instance that she didn't have to line in its four bombard because she would think faster than she could write. She'd send her away to do something and she come back really quickly and then more bombard conversely would say you know i really appreciate the eight out of the work that you're doing for me but i probably should get an agent because morrison was literally doing the agent work and the editor work and the friend in work and in some instances of making sure that she had a typist may letting her stay at her place if she needed to be in new york to get something something done very quickly another writer that she worked with very closely leon forrest <unk> similarly had a tremendous amount of respect for her and was very very clear that he would not have been published had it not been for tony morrison who interestingly enough simply picked up the phone to say hello when he called saying kay someone suggested that they couldn't understand my book but that you would and that was the kind of person that she was on to receive those it was more challenging texts as we have heard her say about jokingly about beloved. That's called reading when you have to read something over and over again. It's really reading and i think it's critical to understand the significance of that kind of relationship to have someone who could read your work closely and to understand stand it and to make sure that it was championed in those rooms where editors were making decisions about whether to give a book contract. Contract are not very often. She spoke four gail jones who was something of a recluse who refused to promote her own books but morrison was so enamored by gail jones's full body of work that in that particular instance she said you know i need you to go out and do the promotions but if you won't i can still sell this book anyway so she incredibly generous to as an editor. Cecilia emailed us. Tony morrison wasn't enlightened figure and i believe one of if not the most profound writers we have had the privilege is to have benefited from. I'm a white woman with blue eyes. The bluest eye was the first book of hers. I've read it was the first time i ever felt such resonance from an author and i felt that she was was telling my inner story. Even though it was a different manifested physicality with feeling of being unlovable due to some perceived ugliness shane etc dictated by unlimited views of our ignorant species she was able to meet us deep down where our sorrows dwell and with great love help us rise above it and find meaning and all this suffering. We're hearing your tributes about tony morrison more in a moment stay close. Don't stamp pad and free black support for this n._p._r. Podcast and the following message come from the united states postal service every day. 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Tony morrison did eventually split her time between editing and and being a mother of two and then also to write her own work but there was a time when her work did not receive awards forty eight black writers including the likes of maya i angelo amira bakar amir bucker and alice walker penned a letter to the times book review then published chastising the literary world for not recognizing recognizing morrison either for the national book award or for the pulitzer prize beloved did then win the pulitzer prize that april in one thousand nine hundred eighty eight critics talked a a lot about the absence of white life in her work which she pointed out as a deeply racist sentiment. There's a moment circulating on twitter right now from an interview tony gave back in one thousand nine hundred ninety eight with journalist. Jada went went pushed her on why she didn't give more attention to white experiences in her novels. Let's let's listen and you will maintain this safe place for yourself for your art. You don't think you will ever change and write books that incorporate right what what lives into them substantially. I have time venus substantial. You can't understand how powerfully raise this question christians any as you could never ask a wide author. When are you going to write about black where he did or not or she did not even the inquiry comes from a position of being in the center and being unused to being in the same gene used to being in and saying you know. Is it ever possible that you will enter the mainstream. It's inconceivable inconceivable that we're already. Am is the mainstay. Here's another quote from morrison. I spent my entire writing life life trying to make sure that the white gays wasn't the dominant one in any of in any of my books paula. Can you talk more about the white gays and morrison's work to a radical it in her novels. You know many of those quotes that you're that we're hearing was at a time time when we really think about tony not only not writing about white people per se or or putting them at the center enter over story but at this period of time at the center of a story weren't just black people but black women and black hair doesn't protagonists tagging <unk> black protagonists who weren't <hes> particularly special in that certain kind of way in terms of respectability etc who who were <hes> ordinary people <hes> dealing with extraordinary circumstances in so many ways toni morrison's the first one in sulu not really talk about black women's friendships as a center of her <hes> work <hes> and so <hes> so yes yes <hes> that was part of what sometimes unsaid in this period of time <hes> what people were talking about not only. Are you just talking about black people. You're talking about black women as the center of the world and how can you do that. You know <hes> when i was before i retired when i was teaching. I started off every teaching on black women's history. I start off every class with toni morrison's quote and she said this in different ways throughout the years but when people asked her would you <hes> do you mind being called a black woman writer rather other than an american writer and she said no she said because as a black women writer my world is larger not smaller so this it was really an important and if you understand like women's history if you understand the literature the world is small the larger not smaller <hes> as a a part of it so instead of being an addendum to another to someone else or again as i mentioned before of trying to coax you know ever since the slave narrative. We've been trying to coax white people into being more moral being more just seeing us as human. She said we don't have to do that. We we can talk about that. Within from within our culture her works are required reading in high schools across the country her catalog a unique mix of sort sort of commercial and critical successes and her mark on the academic world is towering. You've both taught their work in her working classes dana dana what were these experiences like teaching the the work of tony morrison it was fun and challenging at the same time part of what that challenge with teaching ching was to show students how writing can be so beautiful than poetic and lyrical but so deeply sought full where every word mattered and that's the kind of language work that morrison did and it was only possible because she was this great mind but i think we can take take take that kind of thinking and and the work that is required for the reading the thinking the very deliberate word choice we take that for granted and paulo what was it like both with knowing her personally and teaching her work to students <hes> sheep. We had one course on <hes> think remembering <hes> in africana studies called him. It's a methods course which is a theory of study and we <hes> took took the novel beloved and we examined examined it from every perspective from a historical perspective from a literary suspected just very briefly for people who aren't deeply familiar with her work a basic summary of of beloved. Oh well <hes> beloved beloved of course is what many people think of her as her masterwork <hes> which tells the story of margaret garner <hes> ah enslaved woman who escapes slavery <hes> is pursued and when it appears like she's going to be caught instead of going back into slavery slavery and letting her with her children who was with her she kills one of her children <hes> to keep it from going back back into slavery <hes> and this is probably an example again of of how marcin just has it's no limits in to expressing <hes> ideas around freedom <hes> for in the motherhood and others so <hes> so it's an it's an extraordinary story written of course in a quite an extraordinary way <hes> and so ocean when we you could examine her work from every perspective and it's rich <hes> in every perspective <hes> <hes> and of course just knowing her <hes>. I've been thinking lately of how much she's just shaped by. You know my life as also as a teacher church. She asked me to come teach at princeton which i did <hes> for a year as well <hes> as a journalist enlist i wrote about her as a journalist and as a buy in particular has a biographer <hes> so the combination of understanding banding her work teaching her work watching the the eyes of students light up <hes> when you're teaching when they're they are reading this extraordinary extraordinarily writing of hers <hes> was <hes> was was just an indelible <hes> experience and this also had a her work also had a big impact on sort of how we think of american history because her novels and essays and stories cover almost four hundred years of american history it really when you think about her work you know soula actually the novel sulu which is the second novel actually years extend from nine hundred nineteen thousand nine hundred sixty five and she wrote about the colonial period she wrote about slavery reconstruction the great migration harlem renaissance i mean it's extraordinary and she puts <hes> humanity humanity our humanity in these periods and in these stories that were often historical silences and so <hes> many in so many ways <hes> so it so the imagination of her of her taking into the context most of what was happening in america and sometimes the world was one of the most extraordinary things about <hes> about <hes> about her in writing <hes> and it <hes> <hes> <hes> helped me so much as a writer of history to know we'll have read tony morrison and what people were not just doing what other not not just knowing where the people are saying about people the how people are feeling and this is this is what she gave to us. <hes> i just say one key when when when <hes> quick thing when i was when i told older i'm gonna write about to be wells who started the first campaign against lynching and <hes> she said <hes> an i'd been researching for some time time and she said well paul you know ida. Wells is very important well. Of course i knew ida. Wells was important. I'd been researching most of my adult life but when tony morrison says someone is important. I laughed with her. I said you'd probably extended my research about five more years because when you say she's important that is something you really have to think about in very very profound <hes> in deep ways. I'd like to thank my guest. Dana williams chair of the english department at howard university. Thank you thank you so much for having an paula giddings professor america at of african studies at smith college. Thank you thank you so much. Today's show was produced and edited by bianca martin to learn more about her and the rest of the team visit the one eight. Okay dot org slash staff. This program comes to you from w. a._m._u. Part of american university in washington distributed by n._p._r. I'm kimberly adams. Thank thank you so much for listening. This is one a. uh.
Toni Morrison: Beloved
"Funds for bookworm are provided in part by lannan foundation. Eh nelson live from k._c._r._w. An k._c._r._w. Dot com. I'm michael silver bland and this is bookworm warm. Why you're about to hear is the show. I'm very proud of from the bookworm archives. It goes back to nineteen ninety eight. When tony morrison the late and the mental tony morrison announced that she would not be speaking about her opinions of the movie that oprah winfrey produced and jonathan demme directed based upon her novel beloved and it was perfectly understandable to me oprah winfrey he was her friend. It's a book based on her novel so i got in touch with her and i said i don't want to talk about out the movie either if you would prefer i won't even see it until after we speak what i want to talk to you about tony is what is there in a novel that will never make it to the screen that can't that is beyond films capacity to represent tony talks to us with great intensity about the novels focus on the problems of law f- in particular you're the problems of love between the parents and the children who will grow up into slavery as represented in beloved. It's what makes it one of toni morrison's most powerful books. She was very generous in agreeing being in fact she was thrilled to talk about the book as it cannot be represented by a movie we she spoke to us at great length from her home. The interview was so interesting that the l._a. Times contacted us and asked if we could transcribe it and tony was so pleased with it that she said she would allow allow it to be transcribed and printed but she would edit the transcription well as you can imagine we had subsequent sequent interviews with tony morrison in the studios that were very exciting but this this was a real breakthrough for bookworm and for our audience to hear tony morrison speaking about a subject she would not speak speak to anyone else about and i hope you enjoy what you're about to hear as much as i enjoyed discovering covering it in our archive and thinking about the beloved toni morrison i wrote her a letter two weeks ago knowing that the movie of beloved would be coming out and wanting not even having seen the film to talk talk about the book because it's my sense that after removing hits the public a book is authored by it and that there the things that we find in language in the shaping and writing literature that a movie cannot touch not because it doesn't want to or because it's inadequate but because they're different art forms at the center of beloved is not the thing that people always talk cabal. They always talk about a story that happened in the days of slavery in which an actual woman killed her children rather than seeing them brought back and living the life that she had lead on the plantation but it seems is to me that while this is the background of the book what the writer has done is bring to it the question russian which becomes the question in your following two books jazz in paradise. What will you do. What kind of gov is too much and when does gov of another eclipse the love of the self the question is how are we able to love under duress and when we can dan what distorts for us and how can we negotiate the various kinds of claims james and love that we choose in order to make it include ourselves the love of the south that he's not nice assisting not simply selfish and also to love something bigger than ourselves that is not martyrdom <hes> <hes> setting oneself aside complete the first book bluest. I is about the consequences of self loathing mm-hmm and the books that follow take the impaired self into the world where temps at love love are made and in a sense it's not until beloved that the question of transfiguration lov one that might destroy the self in the process of being enacted becomes the central subject of the book so in a way all of the books have been sequential path from the frightened self to the self that begins to risk in the world and then the self that is taking grand and possibly disastrous strides yes because the the frailty of the first book of that child who is fairly doomed by things outside our a troll and collapsing really emotionally all the way to another kind of <hes> child i suppose and beloved whose hunger for disrupted love lack of love abandoned love matching with the ferocity of mother unloved <hes> which is on the one hand laudatory and on the other something that can actually condemn everybody everybody not just your child but herself and her living child and make love impossible for her with a man you know all all consuming love but trying very hard as a rider to put into language the theatricality galaxy and the meaning of these kinds of distortions in order to reveal not only their consequences clinton's but what one should be warned again what we should look out for what we should should be wary of and i've thought beloved circumstances book circumstances were not limited in any anyway to eighteen seventy three or eighteen fifty five. I think for those of us who live in nineteen ninety ninety eight male or female the problems of trying to love oneself and another human being at the same time is a serious late twentieth century problem very serious problem so i thought out that it was interesting to me to write in nineteen eighty four. I started about how how one woman felt the she was only free in complete when she asserted herself as a month as opposed to post feminist options of not having to be forced into motherhood the coast as a way of completing fulfilling the self and expressing one's freedom so that it's not so much that the contrary it's just the same area the same park <hes> in which i wanted wanted to work and work out the problems of that kind of law that's supposed to say the the notion of romantic love <hes> in the so-called jazz age compared to our notions of romantic romantic love whatever the historical background <hes> my hope earnest hope was that the relevance of these people <hes> whatever race whenever region whatever circumstances were resonate powerfully with contemporary very difficulty in beloved one senses that the hall novel has been directing itself alf toward a moment that in my mind film can't possibly realize a moment of knocked gays his and psychic transfer that seems at the heart of the narration of all of these books that there be a moment when there is an exchange enj- of i am feeling mind and touch that allows people to know each other stories without speaking them. Well you have a major void in a movie. Which is you you don't have a reader you have a viewer and that is such an a different experience <hes> as subtle as a movie can be as careful artful as it can be in the final analysis. It's blatant. You know because you see it. It and you can translate certain things make certain <hes> interpretations and wonder certainly there could be mystery but they encounter with language is such a private exploration. The imagination works differently other other things that i can create hint at via the structure via the choice of words via the silences are not the kinds of things that would be successful in any movie and when it becomes in a sort of appointed and successful that way it loses something so for me what you call the exchange of mind touch none of that they would even attempt 'cause that's not what movies do or do well and you and i had to realize <hes> although i was not very interested in selling any book to the movies ever and when i was persuaded to do to complete the sale of this one i thought i would let them do what they do and i would go home home and do what i do and i had no further contact with it until indeed they were filming only and i want to say certain things that i thought might be helpful might be used but probably would never be but i felt it important to simply say these and my judgments were powerfully structural. You know where to link when not to and they were really really unusable literally unused by anybody because they were not cinematic. I i want to let listeners know that i'm talking to toni. Morrison and i want to explain the context here. I think that trust and the agreement agreement between a writer and a reader is very important to her and so when i wrote a letter to her several weeks ago it was not only only that we would talk but we would talk from her home because that was a decision not to be going out on the road again to be making pronouncements or lacking for the movie that the movie is a separate thing and so we're talking from studio to toni morrison's the home and the sounds that you hear are the sounds of intimacy not of an accidental bad connection. It was out of respect for the writer that led to this particular circumstance. It seems to me that you're fiction does bring the reader are to a space that cannot be defined that must be for lack of better terms called the sacred or indeterminate space base of the imaginative experience that that words are the inadequate clothing of that experience when you are reaching the heart up until that point the writers choices word by word are immensely important. When you reach the heart no no word can be correct. You're talking about an experience. It is this close to a mystical experience while i wanted <hes> it precisely that point to be rendered in a couple of occasions in beloved but particularly when the women are in front of south the house having been persuaded that enough is enough and when they go there they come with what they've got whatever faith they've got whatever superstition they've got whatever religious iconography they have using all you know symbolic world and then they pray and they do things and then there's a moment when that none of that not the symbol symbol they hold in their hands <hes> not the cross they may have around their necks not the desire to have there will done. The only thing that works is to go very very far back before language when there was only the sound the sound is a kind of choral singing in this case <hes> which works i i think in terms of the folklore in terms of who those people were but it's another way of saying they're saying and my saying. I can't say what this is our snowboard tell you how to get there. I'm michael silver blood not and you're listening to bookworm from the studios of k._c._r._w. I'm talking with the late. Tony morrison upon the occasion of the release release of the motion picture based upon her novel beloved. She spoke to me from her home will continue after this short break <hes> yeah so guess what we know that some of you listening right now now are not k._c._r._w. Members it's okay. We're not judging but you can still donate that old car boat r._v. Motorcycle jetski or whatever that's gathering dust in your garage. We'll do all the paperwork and take it away. You don't even have to know your supporting public radio. Do it now at k._c._r._w. A._c._l._u. dot com slash cars. I'm michael silver blunt. The bookworm am talking with tony morrison about her novel apple beloved a- period novel about the challenges of love that persist into the present. I wondered if you could talk about the ways in which these books combat silence. I think the signal instrument is silence for me and beloved was bit which was kind of a mirror and frequently used homemade instrument that you put into a person's mouth which could suggest <hes> and they're quite a variety of within and whatever other feature they had they were not to keep you from working because you worked with them but they were to shut you up so that you could not say you could not talk back you could not articulate contrary position or do any violence with your tongue or your word and that wasn't complete <hes> erasure ratio of all language that the victim or the oppressed hat so for me. It was operating this way. I would try to say what they were prevented from saying no in that scene of the bid there is what i considered to be one of the signatures and triumphs of your were way of looking and writing in the scene in which this brutal silencing occurred several torture richard and punishments are going on at once several witnessing. 's without voicing what we see instead. Is that rooster and i. I wonder if you would tell me about yeah. It was imagining it myself you know sort of what must've feel like once what mustard look like this man under those circumstances being treated like a beast so you're trying to not just reemphasize that but to have him look at something something that is edible something that he brought it to the world does but nevertheless you know roosters have kind of royal way of behaving and and sometimes in the yard and to have him compare himself to a creature so beneath him but who visually if you imagine visualize a rooster you see the crown you see the beat you see the eye you see something close to an eagle so you see something painter louis that you recognize as having at least a certain kind of <hes> a visual authority the rooster crows et cetera but you know really that it's just a little you know three or four pounds of nothing and to have him feel less than that and more more importantly to know that rooster he has a name he remembers when it was born members helping helping it and they named it mr because he was so tough so here. We have a man who have never be calmest now. This of course is what a movie cannot do because it can only show you a rooster. It can tell you where the rooster rooster came from a can't make the red of its comb pulsating the way yours does it cannot enter the mind of the man who named it mr whose mouth is filled by a bit <hes>. These are those things that in a book last behind the book their intersections that the author has structured that editing in movies can only rarely you. No one needs an <unk> eisenstein to think of a structure that would allow for so much association so much fullness to go on in the midst of such superstation this so different you know it's the most obvious thing to say but i had no idea how very different the whole experience is what you'd be driven driven to and i don't have any <hes> <hes>. It's not even a reduction. It's just a powerful difference. When i first of all it was important to me at the paperback jacket not to see beloved face then she must be someone that the reader invent well already when and you're in the movie situation you have a face fixes it so it moves from there to other kinds of scenes gestures voices some of which enhance i have to tell you what the dialogue might be you hear other things things with very good actors and they're very good in this movie on the other hand there just whole areas that that not only are not they're they're not gesture toward but the mechanics of cinema doesn't work toward dad anyway. No the part that you worked so hard for is of no use whatsoever cannot use it and should not i remember number seen paradise in which i worked a long time with a couple of things to make sure that the pallet was right that the the same colors that were in the sea were also in another thing and i don't expect a region necessarily we know all of that but i do believe that because i painted seeing the same color this is sort of under tow or <hes> text where it may not look comparable in terms of the two scenes but the reader reader may not even know that they're getting the nature of the compassion because i have painted them that way you know well it's very deeply embedded but in the work and and what i what i find myself saying about that it's kind of wonderful i it came to me and beloved with <hes> baby suggs quilt in which there are two patches of orange and baby suggs is working on pink that what is going on in this book is that we are thinking about collar in new way i wanted it to be absolutely raw and the rest of the book is sort of nobody mentions color and then when seth meets paul de again and she thinks about maybe this can work work. She thinks about column. She'll look at china's. Maybe she'll you know it's a it's. It's pleasure. It's a deep sensual gratifying and not only that it's a way of making new you know what is a black writer supposed to do he or she is supposed to think about car and here it is god. I'm doing it right now. Got it. I've been speaking to tony morrison the author of beloved it. It is a conversation occurring on the occasion of film but not about the film. It's the attempt to celebrate the depths depths of a book. That film can't touch. Thank you very much for joining me tony pleasure. I've been talking with tony morrison. The author of beloved the novel that i think was central to her winning of the the nobel prize. We're talking on the occasion of the release of the film in nineteen ninety eight of boulevard. The book of course is published in paperback by vintage. Thank you for joining me. You can visit k._c._r._w. Dot com slash bookworm for a podcast of today's show also available at apple spotify and all podcasts services services. You can listen on demand with k._c._r._w. Smartphone apps special thanks to my co producer sean sullivan alan. Alan howard is associate producer. The technical director is mario diaz. The show was originally recorded by jennifer swat it in one thousand nine hundred ninety eight. I'm michael silver blood. Join me again next time on bookworm visa. Whoa who i am we are loons. Funds for bookworm are provided in part by lannan foundation. This program is produced in the studios of k._c._r._w. Santa monica you can access archives of all bookworm programs and podcasts the most recent ones at k._c._r._w. Dot com slash bookworm the bookworm themes composed and performed by ron and russell male of sparks the season. I'm michael silver blunt. Join me again next time on bookworm. When peter owner is our guest.
8/27/19: Into the Nothing
"Oh my god am i too much on my god. Am i not enough. Both of these can't be true at the same time and maybe neither one of them is hi. This is coach. Sarah and this is the morning mantra hi. My name is sarah axelrod. I'm a run coach coach lover poetry and a person who cares about your wellbeing you don't have to be an athlete to be coached lumped and if you need an anger to hold onto his move through a tough situation you've come to the right place in today's spanta is into the nothing into the nothing imposter syndrome is no stranger to our listeners particularly particularly those of our listeners who are also runners we fear the distance between us and the lead pack because only the lead pack in our minds are the ones who people regard as real runners runners. Where's the space for us. We look around but we don't see it overpowered as we are by images of lean toned muscular bodies on magazine covers in ads. How can we as far as we are from that image find a place to call our own in this sport who will see us and think we belong in the space. I've known this impostor ostrich syndrome. Well and i've also known its mirror image. The demand that everything that comes out of the original daring groundbreaking apart from the crowd in my researches literature scholar. I needed to find the thing that no one else saw proved to everyone that they had missed something that i alone knew what it was. In the study of fourteenth century texts texts that is a tall order and yet in those moments where i really felt like i was seeing something in my own way and that i had something to say that i hardly dared believe no one else had said then then came the fear of gene too far bounce. The thing i'm writing does not look like the things they are rating over there and they want me to write more like them to be accepted into their world. Here's a new complication. The impostor syndrome be original be daring but never be threatening. It was a needle. I tried to thread for years before realizing that it wasn't a needle so much which is a sheet metal screw tightening and tightening until the enclosure was fully shut becoming a writer who only wrote what i wanted to write was liberating and terrifying because without playing expectations dodgeball how in the world would i know what to write and for whom the more i tried to anticipate what readers of my little blog wanted from me. The more i panicked under the wait people had already written everything seemed and yet. I felt no match for them. Where was the space for me. Where were the people who looked like me with whom i could blend in but but not too much particularly when i think of myself as a coach a writer in a podcast in the world of recreational running i feel the impostor type thoughts coming in from both sides on the one hand who is ever going to think that i belong here having never qualified for boston in the marathoner even broken four hours. How in the world am i in authority. What can i possibly have to say and then from the other side comes the mirror image people like you are a dime a dozen. Oh you have feelings. Oh running makes you feel them. Oh you're going to have podcast asked about it. How original after all the new york times style section has now questioned whether we have hit peak podcast. Do i really think that i can possibly have anything thing of value to add okay coach sarah which is it. Are you two different to belong. Worry too much the same. Maybe there's nothing waiting for you to step into in the late. Tony morrison published a book of essays titled the source of self regard shortly before her death and the first essay i flipped to called on beloved told me this quote sometimes. What is there what is already britain is perfect an imitation as absurd and intolerable but a perfect thing is not everything another another thing. Another different thing is required. Sometimes what is already. There is simply not enough other times. It is indistinct incomplete. Even an error or buried varied. Sometimes of course there is nothing in for novelist. That is the real excitement not what there is but what there is not got. A tall door rises up into this nothing. It's hardware as heavy secure. Nobel invites your hand so you stand there. Perhaps or move away and later sticking your hand into your pocket. You find a key that you know or hope fits the luck. Even before or the tumblers fall back you know you will find what you hoped to find a word or two turns the not enough into more the line or sentence that inserts itself self into the nothing. That's tony morrison that space where you don't see where you fit either because it is too crowded because there is nothing like you. Maybe maybe you're looking at it. Incorrectly tony fucking morrison started writing is a grown ass adult with young kids. She didn't start to call herself a writer until oh she has published three novels three novels two of which are widely agreed to be among the most important novels ever written. She had to write song of solomon alleman before she named herself writer. She wrote in spaces where things have been said but we're more required much more and she wrote in spaces where nothing has been said where no space yet existed. There is a nothing where you belong. There is a need for your thing even in one another thing even when the perfect thing exists already your voice matters and someone somewhere who was wondering where they fit and why they should ever speak in who will ever listen they are going to see and hear you where before there was nothing when you doubt whether there is any place for you i want you to hear my voice in the back of your head toni morrison's voice in the back of your head reminding you that you too can insert yourself into the nothing in all likelihood. It's there because there is something that's needed. You are coached you. You are loved and you are winning life and did he lied more reasons to believe that follow morning metropol on instagram.
#893: Our Valentines 2019
"Support for this podcast and the following message. Also, come from IBM to meet the needs of the world's growing population. Farmers are working with IBM and Watson to help increase crop yields. Let's put smart to work. Find out how it IBM dot com slash smart. Recently, Gizmodo reporter Kashmir hill tried something nearly impossible for journalism. I wanted to see if it was possible to live without the tech giant's so Amazon Facebook Microsoft, apple and Google she tried to cut them all out of her life. But I mostly wanted to talk to Kashmir about going off Google because Google is everywhere my life, and she was like, yeah. If you're gonna cut them out, you gotta do way more than just switching search engines and Email addresses, she actually asked a programmer to make like a gate that wouldn't let anything Google into her life. So it meant that leg Google analytics didn't load Google's trackers didn't load Google fonts, which is apparently used all over the web didn't load and Google maps didn't load which. Shutdown mapping services. You completely lost? Without that. It was it was it was a huge problem Kazimierz article was kind of mind blowing because sure we all know we use Google a lot. What I didn't know was just how much of the internet uses Google's infrastructure to do just about everything, for example, one day. She was trying to go on dropbox to share a file, so she enters her username password. And nothing was happening. And it turns out that dropbox Jesus is service from Google to determine whether or not you're about. And so because I was blocking Google it looked to dropbox like, I wasn't human. And they wouldn't let me sign in because Kashmir was blocked from fonts and trackers and maps and a million other Google things her internet was basically broken you're saying that it's like, it's everywhere. Yeah. It's it's every. Like, basically blocking Google made me feel like I was back on dial up internet in the ninety s and this was just the Google part, ver- experiment. Remember Kashmir did this for all of the tech giant's Amazon Facebook, Google, Microsoft and apple in that order in in the last week. I blocked all five at once. Kashmir article was so good that after I read it. I was just like why didn't I think of that? Can I just say here at planet money, we've sent this around? Everyone's look at it. And we were all so jealous of this project. Thanks. You wouldn't be jealous. If you had to live through it was I must be a masochist will thank you for doing it. So we didn't have to pay for sending me a Valentine Hello Malkin's planet money. I'm Nick fountain. Every year usually around Valentine's Day, we channel our feelings of jealousy and turn them into appreciation Valentine. Today on the show. We're going to send shout out to a movie that inspires existential. Dread. An obscure central Bank bureaucrat and a brutal sport that explains. A lot about economics. Support for this podcast and the following message. Come from we work. Vicki Fulop is the co founder of textile company, and we work member Brooklyn. She chose to move her business into a we work office in part because of we works flexible spaces, we hope that we can keep growing, and we know that we were has really great solutions us companies become mid size enlarge in that. They would be able to guide us to the best solution to learn more about how we work supports its members growth through flexible workspace offerings. Visit we dot co slash space matters. The US any Ron have been at odds for a long time. And we tend to think it all started with the Iranian revolution in nineteen seventy nine. But that's not the whole story this week on through line. We'll take you back to four days in nineteen Fifty-three that changed the US Iran relationship forever through line where we go back in time to understand the present. We asked everyone on our team to highlight the things that they loved or were jealous of this year and daring woods planet. Money producer, welcome. Hey, how's it going? You were the first of respond so Europe. I what's your Valentine. My Valentine's full of advantage, Jamaica, Nick, and I'm not gonna say what it is on just going to show you. To Jamir on the economy. So what I'm studying is a music video about the Jamaican economy featuring like a souped up race car and exchange rates. She's driving to the central Bank and in the background with the oldest reggae music explaining what the central bank's doing about inflation targeting. What is the backstory behind this? The back story goes to the sky Tony Morrison. He's the head of communications for the Jamaican central Bank last year. He'll sitting in the Bank of Jamaica. There were these big economic reforms going on and Tony has an idea to explain how the Bank is managing price. Inflation central banks have thought a lot of tools to do this mostly boring speeches in my experience. That's the primary tool, but Tony he's got this other idea music thinking of using music as a tool came somewhat naturally what I love about this is that plenty money. We have tried so many ways to explain inflation targeting and the psychology behind it. But these guys, but Tony at the central Bank of Jamaica have just like feared out a way to get it stuck in my head. They uh smashing it. And there is a serious purpose behind using music to explain inflation Jamaica struggle with really high price inflation, basically since the sixties at some point in the nineteen nineties. It was over seventy percents like super high price inflation just going up and up and up. But over the last few years Jamaica has succeeded in driving the inflation rate down what Tony told me is that he wants to convince the people of Jamaica that this is going to stick because inflation is psychological in a way. Right. So Tony knows that inflation is fueled by this either vicious virtuous cycle. If people think prices going to rise a lot they'll spend their money foster further speeding up inflation. If they think inflation will be low that in itself will helps slow inflation economists, call this anchoring inflation expectations. And so Tony has figured out a way to explain to anyone in everyone that inflation will stay low just trust us. Exactly. So these videos are actually in a way pretty important. I love this so much. Thank you Darren woods. We're bringing to our attention. It's been a complete pleasure to sit at my desk watching videos about. Cash too high inflation's like the baseline in reggae music. Inflation is the real Harvey. I'll be targeting away too. H from Bank of Jamaica. Okay. Next up Noel king. What do you got for us this year? I was wildly jealous of a documentary that appeared on net. Netflix. It's called fire. The greatest party that never happened. You saw it too on your suggestion yet. It's about a music festival that happened in two thousand seventeen which was arguably the most brilliantly hyped music festival in history. It started with a video on Instagram. And something that's. Yeah. It's like this slickly produced video drone footage of this private island. They say it's Pablo Escobar's Lind, and they're all of these models on yachts, and they're gorgeous. And they're playing in the water with pigs, which is weird. But it's cool. Cool DJ. It looks awesome. Yeah. It looks like an Instagram influencers island, drew. So people pay thousands, in some cases, even tens of thousands of dollars to get tickets to the festival, and then they get off the plane in the Bahamas, and the beach is a parking lot and luxury accommodations are damp tents. There are no models anywhere. And there's nothing to eat except cheese sandwiches. Turn around. There was disbelief on the bus a lot of people thought that you know, maybe we'll passing through this area or listen just on the other side. It was like. Oh my God. Never happened again. I hope they know. Yeah. I remember watching this in real time on Twitter and just kind of laughing about it because basically shot him Freud. But then we all just sort of file this away in the cabinet full of millennial failures and moved on with our lives until this documentary came out because it had something kinda special, right? Yeah. It really did. So fire festival is now a huge legal fiasco, one of the co founders is in prison, and as a journalist, I could not believe the access they got they had all of this insider footage, the the two co founders copping to the fact that they were selling something that they knew was not real. Bye. So I see the documentary. I get curious and I start reading about it to figure out how they pulled this off. And it turns out the reason they had all of this damning footage was because the people who'd been in charge of promoting the fire festival where some of the same people who'd produce the documentary so the documentary is ethically compromised. So why are you recommending it to our listeners because it's so dead on about what it is to live in the age of Instagram like these incompetent huckster 's can inspire people across the world to be. So afraid of missing out, the even though the organizers don't have enough money or any preparation or any idea. How to deliver thousands of people fall for it? Because influencers tell them it's cool. The documentary is fire the greatest party that never happened. And it's hilarious. I to recommend it. Thanks noel. Thanks, nick. Most of the Valentine's that we got I sort of understood, but this next one which comes from Cardiff Garcia, the co host of the indicator from planet money. Hello, Cardiff haynick. I do not understand this at all go for it. So my Valentine is to make martial arts the sport of NA naked. If you've never seen it before. Here's a little clip of it that I'm going to show you. Clinches exactly. Oh, yeah. That was quite a quite a blow hit him with a right hook coming out of a clinch nearly as we say sweet, why do you like this? I find it kind of endlessly entertaining to watch. I find that. There's such a wide range of strategies at these fighters can employ that it actually is a much more kind of intellectual intriguing sport than a lot of people give it credit for. But the main reason I gave it the Valentine is because it is such a controversial business, and because the specific controversies of mixed martial arts as a business are so emblematic of the controversies that exist in the overall US economy. Okay. I was raised in a cocoon where I didn't know anything about violence or economic. So I played this metaphor out for start with this. The UFC the ultimate fighting championship is the main promotional organization of mixed. Martial arts is the only one I've ever fight. Yeah. Exactly. And it's much bigger than all of its rivals in part because it bought so many of those. Rivals on its way to becoming huge and because of the UFC size fighters don't have many options for other promotions where they can fight. So the fighters kind of have to accept like the really stringent requirements that the UFC imposes on them, including how much it pays them. Or as a fighters might say how little it pays them? And you've been walking around the office using this big word to describe this relationship between labor and capital. Yes monopoly monopoly. What is that? So in the labor market a monopoly is when you have a company that is either the only company that employs all the workers in a certain industry or more commonly? It's by far the biggest employer. So it just has a lot of power and a lot of fighters have said that that's the UFC. All right. So bring it back. How does one guy knocking out another guy relate to the economy writ large, even haven't made it obvious yet? No. So what critics of the UFC say is that because it is part of a monopoly. It has kind of led to like a hot. Middle-class within the sport. So you still have some of these superstar fighters who make a ton of money sometimes millions of dollars for a given fight. And obviously, the US's owners get to keep a huge chunk of the money that's made in the sport. But then you have all these other fighters most of the fighters, in fact, who don't make a ton of money they have to pay for their own benefits and all kinds of other things out of pocket. And so you end up with quite a bit of inequality within the sport. And what the critics are saying is it that is a result of the U of C being an option est. And in that sense, it could also mirror what's happening in the US economy. But to say, this is sounding kind of familiar familiar now, right communists, are increasingly worried that fewer and fewer companies in some industries are controlling more and more of the workers. And maybe that is responsible for some of the rise in inequality that the US economy has seen the last few decades Cardiff. Yes, you do Motai. I do. Yeah. For fifteen years. You teach me so much about the economy. Will you teach me how to fight if you want man, sure? Got it. This message comes from NPR sponsor into it into its products. Quickbooks turbo tax inmates. Help you effortlessly manage your finances. So you can live your life. The way you want. Learn more at Intuit dot com into it, powering, prosperity and checkout planet, money's other podcasts. Indicator on one recent episode. We look into the invention of the government bond, and what it had to do with appeasing a blood thirsty mob. They chased him down the street and executed him. Oh, the indicator from planet money, your daily, economic, crash course. All right. So far. We've had music videos. We've had fighting we've had millennial shot in for it. But this next one this one is a little heady because. Yes, the money listeners, we do read books and Elsa Chang. Brought us a book today. What are your? I did it's called in. My father's house. It's by FOX Butterfield. And I love this book just disappeared into it was about. So this was a book that was less about economics. But it's about a topic. I love reporting on criminal Justice there. We should say before your economic reporter you reported on criminal Justice for like half a decade. Right. A little more than that. Okay. And what this book does is it explores this question of how criminal behavior can spread across generations within one single family. You know, the question is is it more nature or more nurture? Why that happens, and what FOX Butterfield does is he starts with his totally startling statistic. And that is that five percent of American families are behind half of all crime in the US. I had no idea is wild. It is. I mean, what he l'estrange his how crime can spread like this contagion moving from parents to children, two, grandchildren and great, grandchildren. And he focuses on this one family called the Bogle 's and he traced them across generations from like the eighteen hundreds until the present day and the main character he focuses on is a patriarch named rooster. Bogle? Great name. Great name and rooster is this bad to the bones character. I mean, there's this one scene where he's. Driving by the ordinance state Correctional Institution with his sons, and he's gazing out at the prison with the sense of nostalgia. And he tells the boys look carefully because when you grow up you guys are going to end up there. And he doesn't say at like at some warning. He says it with with pride like it is it is your destiny it is your fate to end up in prison one day. So it sounds like FOX Butterfield falls more on the nurture side of things. Well, he'd knowledge is that there's nature involved to like, for example, mental illness was passed down generations. And that's genetics to some extent. But what Butterfield does is? He builds this case for how much behavior is learned, by example, 'cause the Bogle they were this really socially, isolated family. They didn't hang out with friends. They didn't hang out with other families. They were just as tight social unit generation after generation so one criminal would be modeling behavior for the next criminal down the line. There was literally a kid who committed his first. Burglary when he was four years old because that's all he saw his dad and brothers doing. And I know all of sounds incredibly grim, but the book was too so compellingly written. I was I was in grossed the entire way through. Book is by FOX Butterfield. What's it called again in my father's house? All right. Thanks for the record. So happy Valentine's Day, Valentine's Day. Shoutout to all of you in advance. For sending us story ideas. We're planet money at NPR dot org. We put a link to all the Valentine's at NPR dot org slash money, Alexi, Horowitz, Ghazi dairy, in woods, and Alex Goldmark produced this episode, and Brian or stat is our editor, I'm Nick fountain. And I'm Jay, thanks for listening. This message comes from NPR sponsor Comcast. Comcast values your time. That's why you can schedule to our appointment windows, including nights and weekends that way. You can spend more time doing what you love. Comcast working to make things. Simple easy. And awesome.
August 6: Under the gun
"This is a c._b._c. Podcast in the fall of nineteen ninety eight an elderly woman known as the cat lady went missing. She had a very very distinctive silhouette and very recognizable and you'd see you're walking into town a handkerchief on her hair long overcoat. Take somebody that lived on the street. All police could find were her. Thirty cats shot dead. I always knew something had happened to her. Did vanish like that uncover. The cat lady case from c._b._c. Podcasts is available now. Hello hello. I'm peter out of paradise sitting in for carol off good evening. I'm chris boden this as it happens the podcast edition tonight under the gun after the killings in dayton ohio facing pressure from voters the governor of the state announces new gun control measures but a state senator says getting those measures passed. Will we close to impossible city orphaned. The mayor of mogadishu dies after a terrorist bombing at his office and an adviser tells us she hasn't just lost a friend and she's losing hope for the future of the city making history by remaking it the late tony morrison wrote stories that hadn't been told in a voice voice no one had ever heard before and tonight a longtime friend and collaborator shares her own stories of the person behind the brilliant words. The watched pot boils over a bbc woman opens her home to a local garden tour only to have it rated later by police because she had three cannabis plants. Yes which is legal but they were visible from public place which weirdly is not straight to the point inist and unwelcomed summer tradition begins again in germany as people are kept a week by their loud lustful neighbors who can't be reasoned with because they're hedgehogs wchs and for one thing it doesn't say hi love you guys but a new artificial tongue isn't just silent after a lot of whiskey it's also much it's more accurate at tasting whiskey than the growth sloppy tongues we store in our dumb human mouths as it happens the tuesday edition radio that knows when it's i licked today day more survivors of the massacre at an el paso texas walmart are telling their stories octavio was inside the store on saturday morning when the shooting broke out he he was shot in the foot. His fifteen year old nephew was shot and killed. Here's part of what mr leonardo said at a hospital press conference today. I heard the gunshots aren't we in line to open a bank account. We saw people running and i grabbed him by the hand of all crap so i grabbed them and shots were fired so i took him to the bank and <hes> well everything happened the nephew in the back to where it was hiding he he shot lining foot like i said he could have easily shopped me but he do meanwhile the city of dayton. Oh hi oh is dealing with the aftermath of its own weekend mass shooting nine people were killed when a gunman opened fire in a downtown neighborhood on sunday at a vigil for the victims is republican governor. Mike dewine was interrupted by calls from the crowd who demanded he do something today. Governor dewine said he got the message. He announced. Seventeen new gun unrelated measures here. He is explaining one of the proposals today. I'm asking the legislature to pass a law to allow courts to issue safety protection orders the orders which would be granted upon clear and convincing evidence will allow the removal of firearms from potentially dangerous individuals and get them the mental mental health treatment today need get them whenever help that they need seashell. Thomas is a democratic ohio state senator who has tried to introduce a number of new gun laws in the state. We reached him in columbus senator. Thomas governor dewine wind says he has finally heard the call to do something about gun violence. Why do you think your republican governor is. Finally listening listening now at the <hes> republican governor finally loosening <hes>. I go back to <hes> governor casick. Try very hard all right to get some <hes> gun legislation parents which was red flag. He and i work together to try to push through. I ever the general assembly the majority audience feel to move this issue following. I suspect that we need the same rhetoric that occurred the last time the governor governor is powerless unless the journal simply agrees and based on some of the other items that are added to the bill. I don't forsee the <hes> the bureau moving forward and so just a few days after many people in your state were gunned down in a in a mass shooting and he said look got on expect anything to happen this time either. Where does that leave you. It leaves me frustrated. When i heard the news was like a dagger in my aunt because of the amount of work i try to get what would be considered commonsense gun legislation to <hes> aw minimize the potential of these kinds of things happening so talk to me about some of these commonsense measures that you have introduced politically three. What are some of them that you've suggested well. Obviously i suggested universal background checks even my colleagues on the other side of the hour. I thought aww they would be reasonable. When nearly eighty to ninety percent of the people that live in ohio agree to universal background checks we also talked about closing gun show loopholes in makes no sense that need vigil coming to a good show purchase from a private seller a not goes no background check. There's nothing that makes no sense. You know i had a quick look at an article that listed gun bills pending at the ohio state house. I think there's at least ten or eleven in there some <hes> in the senate some in the house and each one is stock in some sort of committee in in other words. There have been no legal changes in your state as it pertains to gun laws in the state of ohio has been under one in two thousand they have been through and just a simple vote to pass commonsense gun legislation could leave very simple if they were serious about taking on this issue and not afraid of beer constituents who <music> are gun lobby and who are n._r._a. Supporters longer this stuff. Your governor said he's going to introduce measures like safety protection orders and increased background checks. How much difference do you think measures like that would actually make in preventing mass shootings like the one we taught in in dayton this weekend. This man had a contact with law enforcement and there were concerns by members every school. Even the administration of school had to remove him from school because of the kinds of threats that you were make head we had a red flag lauren place it just maybe once he went to purchase that weapons it would've shown up in a in a thorough background check investigation. My point is that bena stock the situation doggone sure rick. Give us an opportunity to to dock that situation and just so i have. I understand this correctly. Yeah i understand that a red flag law in your country is a prevention lloyd allows police or family members to go to court and say look the firearms should be taken away from that is that what a red flag law essentially it takes the gun away from the individual it allows to temporarily remove him from access to that farm well. There's additional evaluation being addressed. He accused shooter in dayton was able to arm himself with a high-capacity rifle with one hundred round magazine and fired forty one shots and less than thirty seconds a semi automatic weapon. How how is anyone able to get their hands on that kind of firepower being able to offer that type of weaponry which is basically a weapon phenomenon war being able to argue that over the habit delivered to a gun store then growing pick that up. Why would we want that attack in the hands of folks on streets. So what is it mean. Say the right to grow arms if someone needs an handgun learn to protect themselves in their whole nothing wrong with if they want to have a gun for recreational purposes but do we want weapons of war. You're for someone who's just about weapons. That makes no sense. President trump is set to visit dayton tomorrow is he welcome in ohio ohio. I have two people like i would hope that he would come bringing the common common sense thoughts but if he's gonna come and giving his condolences and given a lip service to how we need to fix our laws those are got problems with that. Hot steer hurts when i'm thinker just possibly this could have been voided at we immediately. He didn't put in place things that will allow for early. Warning signs. Give family members tools that they can use to provide right law enforcement community. Some assistance give the laws to psychiatrists so they were have some tuesday help out. We need to bring all all these folks to the table and say how can we do this so that we could make it as difficult as possible for individuals to get their hands on these types of weapons senator thomas <hes> thank you for making time for us today. I do appreciate it. Thank you have a good day bye. See-saw thomas is a democratic democratic ohio state senator we reached him in columbus <music> in nineteen ninety-three three tony morrison became the first black woman to win a nobel prize in her acceptance lecture. She said quote we die. That may be the meaning of life but we do language that may be the measure of our lives unquote. Tony morrison died yesterday in new york city. She was eight years old but but if language is the measure of a life. She'll be immortal in two thousand fifteen. The author of beloved song of solomon jazz spoke with carol on this program. She just published published the novel god help the child during their conversation carroll asked if she identified as an african american writer or an american writer it has to be both you know it's like unal. Tolstoy was a russian writer and he was a world right and you know. I don't know why there has to be. I can't be both things i think of myself or obviously see i think of ourselves as somebody named chloe wofford but out in the world you know i relate fundamentally as has an african american phoebe and what is hanging over dad or sheltering feeding that is the right. That's what i am a writer pulitzer prize winner nobel laureate and presidential medal of freedom recipient tony morrison speaking with carol on as it happens in twenty fifteen from nineteen eighty nine until her retirement in two thousand six tony morrison taught at princeton university where she met her longtime friend colleague and collaborator claudia brodsky. We reach is professor brodsky today in paris france claudia brodsky. Let me first say i'm sorry about the passing of your friend tony morrison thank you. I appreciate straight that. When did you first meet each other well. It was back when tony was first about to be employed by princeton. In university where i had also just been employed and i was in the audience of her kind of inaugural lecture and buy some extraordinarily fortuitous gesture i was invited to the very small dinner with her after that lecture and from that moment on i it is fair to say that we were friends. We both share the the same belief in the power of language to reach people and many people remarking on toni morrison's career as a writer today but as you said we were friends well what what was tony morrison lake is a friend well <hes> every milestone that and every difficult moment that i went through she was there for and i'll give you one example. I was an expectant mother of a second child more or less at wit's end and <hes> and sh. I was searching desperately for a name for my child and she said <music> okay. Claudia calmed down just call her chloe. I'm giving you that it. We'll suits her perfectly. Take that as my gift to you now if that just simply a pitta mayes d- her understanding outstanding of the gift that languages that's not just a name. She picked out of the air right that that's tony morrison. That was her name as a young child old. Yes did you name your child chloe. I suck secretly did and then it was the perfect name and she understood what she was doing when she gave it to me. It was like i'm giving you this. That's my gift to you. Take it and stop worrying and you know she often do that. Just like like enough claudia. Stop worrying do the following and that was one <hes> problem that she saw from me immediately now as far as friendship goes the most meaningful ones of course are given take and so we've been talking about some of the wonderful memories and things tony morrison did for you but you also reciprocated in many ways i'm sure in in one of the ways is when you worked alongside her for many years of princeton. You edited some of her work and i'm curious to know what does i early. Toni morrison. I draft raft actually look like well. I certainly wouldn't say that i edited but i will say this for a writer like tony who wants to know specifically how words land how specific turns of phrase are received for her to own ways send me her drafts of venue scripts was an honor to me but also something that i knew she would take seriously she would listen. Listen to what i had to say. She wanted a reception of her manuscripts from someone she knew also believed that the precision of language really counted and i was more than thrilled to provide her with responses but would i never edited. I would never say edited. Yes we share that as well and i was glad to give more than glad to give for my every sponsors. Those were some pretty wonderful moments. Undoubtedly tony morrison <hes> was a mega force. She's often celebrated for her writing about about the black experience and there has been long been a conversation about who she is writing for. What is your sense of who she hoped would read her are work. Who was she writing for. She was writing for everyone. She was wiping for women. She was writing for men. She was waiting for african american people. She was writing for all people not african american that was her extraordinary ambition and and i think that we can say she achieved it and she knew she would only achieve it based on her use of language and to our ability to imagine what the experience of actual factual data was is like she took great pride in the fact that she had researched every detail of her works and that her contribution contribution was to add experience to those facts and those experience she always hoped would be available accessible to everyone <hes> she wanted to be and i think she achieved the status of being canonical in the very best sense of the word today. Oh you know those of us who didn't know tony morrison only through her works are thinking of passages that she wrote thinking the books we want to revisit or read for the first time time and i'm sure you're thinking about all that too but i'm also wondering as someone who is a dear friend tony morrison. What are you going to miss most about her. The perfect interlocutor someone who understood that when i read what she wrote or spoke to her i would know she meant what she said and vice versa someone one who believed that communication without screens or as possible when i last <hes> met with tony it was quote unquote all times that is to say she was alert to everything that was going on and i'm gonna say this one kind of wonderful thing which was had she was more optimistic than i was about the outlook for the nation it. It was extraordinarily to me. I mean she looked at me as if i were just someone immature enough what i express my dismay she said oh come on claudia we've been here before and that again was something quite extraordinary about having her as a friend the perspective that she provided ms brodsky. Thank you for sharing a bit about your friend tony morrison with us today. I really do appreciate it. I pleasure thank you. We reached professor claudia brodsky in paris chris yesterday her friend the nobel prize winning author. Toni morrison died at the age of eighty eight <music>. Anna minton runs a wellness collective in revel stoke busy. She dabbles in gardening and she she considers herself a law-abiding citizen and she was until she opened her home for the city's annual garden and art tour where her three legally allowed pot plants were on on display. A generous community minded gesture that ended with a visit from the r._c._m._p. We reached intimate in revel stoke. Okay ms minton so oh. You were getting home from dinner on friday night. When did you realize something was up at your house. <hes> as we were approaching the house <hes> <hes> we notice all the lights on which is not something we do and that my dog was tied up outside <hes> which we were putting inside because there was cougar sightings and so when you pulled up to your house and notice the lights were on the dog was outside then what did you do. We didn't really think anything of it. We walked past our tenants and they were like are you guys okay and we're like yeah. We're fine like completely clueless as to what had just gone down <hes> and then when we entered our house <hes> right as we entered our house they had put a stool with the search warrant on a stool in front of <hes> as we entered then i look grabbed it and went and asked her tenants. I was like <hes> what just happened. You know they're like yeah. We we when we got here. We thought you know like maybe the coup with the first question to the cats like are you hear about the cougar <hes> and they're like we have a search warrant and they said one cop kept them away from them. Basically searching through the house and <hes> that there was three cruisers and five cops you had been growing three pot plants which you are allowed to do like every other canadian under the law and our country what what happened to your pop <hes> <hes> on sunday july twenty eight <hes> my husband and i opened up our garden for local fundraiser for the local food initiatives and and <hes> from what we understand a local r._c._m._p. Officer saw are three plants and found that ground to open a search warrant because we cross section fifty six g on the candidates act of putting plants in public fifty six g says you are not allowed to have pot plants. That's on public display something like that yeah and that's where the search warrant that you found taped to a stool there on the stool when you walked in your front door after going out for dinner. Dots what what the r._c._m._p. Had left left. You say why they had entered her house and searched it. Why they had grounds for the search warrant was yes because 'cause we had <hes> we had plants in public yeah and so when you got all those pieces kind of together in your own head. How did you feel when you realize your entire home had been searched by police lease because of three pot plants that you have which are legal which you broke the law by putting them on some sort of display for the public. I was heartbroken <laughter>. Ah i was incredibly heartbroken felt invaded. I felt betrayed by my local r._c._m._p. My house feels tainted <hes>. I you know like it's it's. It's a really weird feeling to be completely on and this all goes back to the garden artur. You hosted in your house so the implication as i understand is that by opening up your home meant you violated the law by putting the pot plants on displays at your understanding of it is what i'm believing. I still haven't heard from the r._c._n. Piece i yeah i don't fully know their their side of the story still <hes> but from from you know like i said the pieces put together <hes> <hes> when i announced to the rest of the garden tour members that that this had happened a few of them spoke up and said whose name was on the warrants and they said we know as a fact he was present at the tour <hes> now we're fearful were next <hes> because i was not the only person to have <hes> kind because plants in my garden the law states that you aren't allowed to grow non medical cannabis that is visible from a public space that would include people on a garden tour. That's where the fuzzy line drawn i guess and <hes> that's what i'm hoping to get clarity on and so is my community and i think many other british columbians that are freaking out it <hes> that that they thought this was legal such as i. You said that you haven't spoken with the r._c._m._p. As of yet have you reached out to them <hes> to be honest. I don't really want to talk to them. <hes> they've hurt me and they could've come and talk to me right at the get go so <hes> i've left it for my lawyer and and the media to deal with it even if what you did is technically against the law what what do you think about the use of police resources and time put into investigating what happened on this little garden tour or three popout plants that you've had in your home. I don't think r._c._m._p. In in whole are necessarily bad people but i do think that their actions winds were unjustified. They could very easily just come and communicated with me to let me know that i had drawn the line so i i'm very disappointed with the waste of resources and a simple profile check. <hes> probably could help them out now that you're three pot plants <hes> gone. Are you planning to grow more plants. Once i better understood the laws because it looks like there's lots of <hes> fuzzy gray areas <hes> yes i'd love to i think canvas isn't beautiful medicine. I'm grateful that it did become become legal. I think it's a harmless plant. Cannabis has been legal in canada not even a year now <hes>. What do you think what happened to you. What do you wanna say to other canadians who may be growing their three pot plants in their home and having a garden tour whatnot <hes> i guess the more cautious versus that these laws aren't as exciting and pretty as they seem that there's they've put a lot of red tape around it and to be very aware of their actions and r._c._m._p. Seem to be serious about their as well enforcing what they can for me. I thought i was following the law and i guess i wasn't so to to not get get the same rude awakening that i i was granted. Ms meant and please keep us informed. <hes> what your discussions with the r._c._m._p. Are and what they tell you about a why they came came into your your home and took away your plants thank you. You're very welcome. I will keep you guys informed. Thank you for sharing the story by now. We reached anna minton and revel stoke b._c. We reached out to the r._c._m._p. But did not hear back by airtime and you can see pictures of ms minton's pot plants on our website c._b._c. dot c._a. Slash a i h abdirahman among omar osman fled wartorn somalia in the early nineties but after spending years in the u._k. He returned to mogadishu with a vision for a city free of violence. Last thursday mr osman the mayor of mogadishu died after he was injured in an attack at his office on july twenty fourth al-shabaab has claimed responsibility hold on ali is a somali canadian nurse practitioner who left her family and ontario and moved to mogadishu three years ago. She was both a friend and an adviser to mir osman c'mon. She was at his office just hours before the bomb went off. We reached hoedown alley in mogadishu and there's elliot. How did you learn about the attack. I i had just arrived at a place where i was having a coffee and some snack <hes> just finished the meeting and a friend of mine who was sitting next to me. Decides the medicine penalty has been bombed in the mayor is injured. <hes> i was like what that's not possible. I just came from there and i try to make some calls trying to sort of confirm. <hes> i was able to get through to anyone because some of the phones were busy and others were just is ringing in not being picked up <hes> as tried to frantically call every phone number i can remember more information was being passed through a friend who was with me through social media and the like and unfortunately what i had feared the the most was true an internal attack on the municipality satiety severely injuring the mayor and killing several colleagues and sorry difficult now you you said you had just just come from there. How close of a call was this for you. Extremely close. We had just spent the entire morning early. After noon. Conducting a meeting with the new secretary general representative to somalia <hes> the on some mission mr james swan made a courtesy difficult to the municipality and mayor and i really spent about two hours with him that morning he left about eleven thirtyish <hes> and then then after that <hes> had some more work in the office and decided to leave rug two p._m. After the mayor had just left and that's <hes> after that meeting is when i had gone to the coffee that i mentioned in that's where i learned of the tragedy. What do you know about the attacker. She was <hes> <hes> uh-huh by all accounts not a suspect to anyone <hes> blind young woman extremely articulate intelligence <hes> <hes> young woman who was a passionate advocate for those disabled and her office was next to mine. The mayor appointed her as has <hes> a director for disability in the region by all accounts. This was not someone that you ever expect to commit such atrocity. <hes> and i think this is another part why this attack is much scarier than all the others and it puts our security at at a much bigger concern given what you've just said. Do you have any sense of why. Do you think she may have done this. I don't you think there's any way of comprehending but from what i can <hes> what i've seen in what i do see our us who've been brainwashed into thinking ooh what they're doing is somehow <hes> religiously viable <hes> and that they are carrying in the name of islam but truly is the most and slamming act to take the life of innocent human being. There's many layers to why a young people join these extremist elements breath in particularly post conflict very fragile. <hes> economically disadvantaged youth particularly. She's of someone in with disability. She probably faced a lot more challenges but it also speaks to the fact that we're not doing enough to gain back could trust in in in the confidence of the youth in they are able to fall prey to ideologies that are such against humanity not and i think for her to take her own life and take the lives of ten other people. Is something fundamentally a challenge that this country faces in in in other places tonight just particular to this country. Tell me about mayor osman what what was he like and what does the death of him mean for for mogadishu in somalia mayor osmond also known as an engineer <unk> yeti so <hes> he was the youngest in his class engineering in class in in the term it is so indicates sort of someone of a small petites figure but also in age much younger than the classmates he was a a true patriots. Were dedicated to this country. <hes> came back from the astra's well <hes> he lived in the u._k. Raising a family chose to come back to somalia to be part of the building <hes> an amazing human being compassionate patient very humble but really invested in seeing somalia beat the evil of of terror on terms of for the city. It's a great loss <hes> <hes>. I think the shouldn't feel orphaned today. He had you know a dream. A vision of making the city great again <hes> he used to reminisce sir every time that we had visitors come to the municipality he would always open you know this is. The show was known as rivera of africa. <hes> where european tourists you'd prefer to <hes> vacation so that really was his his sort of <hes> what he hung onto in terms of memory free from his youth and he wanted to bring more to that point in further and that's how he lived every day in terms of how he governed you mentioned engined that he had you know moved abroad and come back to help improve life in somalia and so have you and so many other somalis who have who've left your home country country and gone abroad and and have gone gone back. Why was it was. It been so important for you to move to somalia. I think like many others <hes> who left and have come back. There's a sense of duty sense of honour wanting to come back and contribute to improve the conditions sion's of millions <hes> whichever little small contributions we can make as no recently also last a canadian journalists auburn l._a. Who chose is the comeback. Who's a good friend of mine. I think there's a calling for some of us who have been blessed to live in canada or in the united kingdom the end benefits from that privilege of being canadian or a brits with all the education all that life has given us the opportunity in one to share that in contribute that to the resurgence of somalia not to make it a place where all of us in the end if we wanted to come back back permanently can live and i think mary so really passionate about that. He always talked about one of his children to return to a safer more habitable somalia. How fearful are you for your life. You've lost two good friends. In the last month. We spoke to back in twenty seventeen after another attack in somalia. Malia left six hundred people dead. We know that somalia has great things but it is also quite can be quite a dangerous place and i'm wondering if you're thinking talking about leaving and how fearful you are for for your life <hes> yes i remember twenty seventeen <hes> connected over the biggest tragedy that this country has face you know in terms of loss that was huge but what happened that <hes> july twenty four probably has a bit more impact cocked in in more painful because it hits so close be navigable hours but also in the heart of the municipality with all kinds of layers of security breached and the mayor being killed among other nine how scared i am. I think this one this one has really resonate a lot more than any other attacks that have happened in in in the city. Am i scared absolutely my considering to leave. Yes <hes> haven't made that final choice yet but that is something very. I have a family <hes>. They constantly have been on the phone asking me need to to live in an at minimum. Take a break. You know we all come back. Knowing what we'll do. Show is a dangerous place but this this attack is different from all the other in the place where we feel more secure has been violated and i think that is probably the biggest track tragedy that we'd we have right now ms l. e. as you said you have <hes> three children who live in the west <hes> you are canadian and and you said mulling over whether to stay in somalia or whether whether to leave. How do you even make that decision. I it's not an easy decision. <hes> like i said you know to be kids. <hes> has been <unk> sisters franny who are desperately the word above me and i absolutely understand that's <hes> and then there's also the the part of me. That's been here for such a long time. The seeds <unk> that sees the need not to leave because if people like me leave <hes> it just leaves you know that space for others to fill that vacuum and we lose the bigger picture and i think sacrifices sometimes are are made for a greater the purpose of not that i'm wanting to sacrifice my life but i'm saying in terms of y._m. Still keep coming back to this home. <hes> i have a hole hold in canada and i love what candid has given me in. That's a big part of me but there's also that sense of duty that you know if all of us who are or in a place in a capacity to have have facts. Don't come back or leave because it's more safer inconvenience. I think that would plunge this country into deeper holden. It is <hes> so it's it's it's a struggle. It's not something lights or easy either way if i go. It's not easy if i stay. It's not easy so it. It really is is is a challenge. Please stay safe and thank you for talking with me today. I do appreciate you making the time and i'm sorry again for the for the loss of your friends. Thank you peter take you hold on. Ali is a somali canadian nurse practitioner who is friends with the late mayor of mogadishu abdirahman omar osman. We reached her in mogadishu and there's more on this story on our website c._b._c. Dot c._a. Slash a._i._h. Yeah i h <music>. Paul peterson is urging movie goers at his drive in theater peter to put safety first. Mr peterson owns the mustang drive in near bloomfield ontario and last week. We spoke with him after a four month. Old infant was killed by a car at a drive in theater in quebec the cinna park boozer bill on montreal's south shore after that interview one listener called talkback to share the steps. Her local driving takes to try to keep movie goers safe hi. My name is faye williams. I'm calling from show with rhode island. My comment was answered. Dan persona island. We still have a basic drive it and what i find extremely helpful is at the beginning they actually show video saying all the do's and don'ts of the drive in very aries like short and to the point and one of the things that actually shows on video is a vehicle backing up and running over teddy bear and it just kind of next. You really really see how he could happen. Another thing they had is a huge grass area at the front of the driving right in front of the a screen where there's already seats there. There's plenty of room to put up the tent but they have an actual like designated area for anybody wants to enjoy the drive and sitting inside but that video is amazing instead driving owner who's like speaking in it and <hes> it was locally produced and filmed and anyways. I i think that that really goes a long way to really illustrate <hes> safety rules of the drive in six ms williams and thanks to everyone who called and wrote to comment on this story or anything else you here on the program you can find us on twitter and facebook both at c._b._c. as it happens all word. Our email is a._h. At c._b._c. dot c._a. Talk back call four one six two zero five five six eight seven <music>. You may have a taste for scotch whisky. You may even be the type to swish it around in your mouth before announcing you detect notes of leather leather toffee. I dunno hotdogs but no matter how discriminating your palate and artificial tongue might be better. I know that's enough to make you spit that single malt onto your smoking jacket but it's true engineers in scotland developed an artificial tongue with incredible abilities ladies to distinguish one whiskey from another alister. Clark is a lecturer in engineering at the university of glasgow. That's where we reached him. Mr clark first first of all. What does this tongue look like well. It's not a big and fluffy and pink like our thongs. It is comprised of millions liens of tiny little metal taste buds so there are a thousand times smaller than the width of the human hair and they're made of aluminium gold and when you shrink metal time time to that size you take on these really weird optical properties so let me find light up the can shine a color back at us. So what does it look like. It looks like a little patch of for a little green square on a patch of gloss and how does it work so the optical responsibly in other words the color that shined backout is really affected acted by the local surroundings so it gives you one signal win nothing on top of it that when you put a complex mixture on top of it like oh whisky that color you're did it appears shift ever so slightly so we measure that tiny little colored chest to build up a statistical map all the chemical compounds in that liquid record something that quite analogous to the human sensation of taste. You know i'm not a super taster so i just taste things. I don't have precise taste. I suppose how how precise is this device well relatively precise we tested it on three hundred times under different samples and able to identify old at one of those and so when you've done these three hundred samples what kinds of distinctions can it make between different whiskies. Well alec can make distinctions based on age safe. You take same whiskey. That's the age for different lights time. Tell you that it can also tell you if there was keeping age that different from type of a cask shetty casco bourbon castro so it is very good at picking up his tiny minute chemical differences in whiskies who would want us. This kind of device who who are you thinking might have used for this well to two things really <hes> one is a eh huge counterfeit market in counterfeit whiskey <hes> and so the ability to be able to tell whether something is real l. whiskey. That's come from scotland or ireland on something that has been manufactured elsewhere not passed off as the real thing valuable thing to be able to do but also maybe more mundane tasks like just monitoring the quality or the taste of beverages on a production line. It doesn't necessarily have to whiskey. It could be anything where you might want to make take a measurement identification of complex chemical mixture so other liquids beverages. You could train it to luther poisons. You could train it to luke four of contaminants tablets and a water supply for instance a river. Maybe something's happening obscenely commercial and so of all the liquids in the world. Why did you who works works at the university of glasgow side whiskey. Yes maybe a rhetorical question. Jessie sold the inviolate of whiskey for the liberal but it just seemed like we you know we we because we from scotland to where where the where the counterfeit whiskey is thing thing when we're looking to test this tongue so what what better way to test to excuse how sizable is the fake whisky market as as far as i'm aware that hundreds of millions of british pounds per year so relatively large and it's a mixture of things it's a mixture of high value inch ancient whiskeys which auction for tens of thousands of pounds per bothell and often turn out to be fake unfortunately more mundane things like regular twenty dollars bottles of whisky that are entering international markets the asian markets in particular that are being passed off as a scotch whisky taught the remanufactured elsia fiqh label flopped on now. There's some skepticism out there of your artificial tongue when it comes to whiskey tasting charles mclean who is one of the top whiskey tasters in the world said this to c._n._n. He said flavor assessment in the whiskey. Industry is done by smell taste and and texture of all the senses employed smell is the most important whisky blenders and quality assessors relied entirely on smell. Our sense taste is crude in comparison to that. You say what i would say that we've chosen to call it the tongue but what was actually doing. It's it's making measurements of the chemical mixture liquid. It's exactly the same way that your nose washer. News is taking in particular of the liquid a making the faith mortgage speaking assessment like the chemical composition of that. You may not know that happening but that's the same sensation so smell and taste the federally particularly when you're trying to make artificial versions often also i would say that you know this is not a replacement for people that are super tasters that work in the whiskey industry industry the benefits industry this is just another to that people can use in order to monitor the quality of liquids. This is the kind of devices can fit my pocket and take to you know power bar if i order a whiskey deceive. I'm getting the real deal at the moment. Nobody's approved to tighten sites is rather large microscope but there's no reason light can be made much much smaller to get to the point where you could do that. Yes mr mr clark. Thank you thank you bye-bye alister. Clark is a lecturer in engineering at the university of glasgow in scotland <music> and the captain into neil with muskrat love the romantic tale of muskrat susie suzy and muskrats sam who court adorable and then i guess have sex i mean how are we supposed to understand the lyrics now. He's tickling her fancy. Rubbing her toes muzzle to muzzle now. Anything goes as they wriggle look. There's a good reason that that's the only hit song about cute animals getting busy i because it is really weird but second because animal mating isn't really the stuff of soft rock ballads. It is intense hedgehogs for example. They're only twenty five centimeters long on average but their mating procedure requires an area of forty square meters germans have a word for this ego carousel hedgehog carousel big word right now germany as is the word eagles sex which means hedgehog sex. That's because hedgehogs all over the country are disrupting people's sleep with their sensual screeching according to the guardian they make sounds sounds ranging from quote quiet sniffling to hissing snarling purring whistling clicking and even loud screaming on quote. Maybe the racket is because of the prequels but apparently they're snarling. Screaming sounds like people so every year around this time all over germany the the police are called about a sexy disturbance only to find hedgehogs instead of humans and since urban hedgehog populations are declining experts are asking people not to do anything to mess with the creatures cacophonous quite either put in some earplugs or watch them in respectful silence and if the last sleep makes makes you feel prickly well imagine how they feel. You've been listening to the as it happens podcast. Our show can be heard monday friday on c._b._c. radio one and on sirius x._m. Following the world at six you can also listen to the whole show on the web just a c._b._c. dot c._a. Slash a._i. H. and follow the links to our online archive. Thanks for listening. I'm pat. I and i'm chris how for more c._b._c. Podcasts goto c._b._c. dot c._a. Slash podcasts.
From mourning to action in El Paso
"Most of the victims and the shooting were latinos. It's now a time of morning back to the soul. The spirit of our community that el paso activists says the fear is real but people are not just sad and concerned. They're also outraged. I'm marco werman also today. In turkey. Syrian refugees who fled violence and civil war are being sent back to their home country. Where did treating us like this. We don't understand this treatment is not humane at all and a big change for thailand. The government is getting into the medical. Marijuana business business is actually three types of pepper in her mixture putting pepper in the garden and so ty all the stories are much more today. You're on the world. I'm marco werman. This is the world world a man who shielded his wife and their nine year old granddaughter with his body. They were shopping at walmart school supplies. The fifteen year old boy he played <unk> soccer at school. A married couple parents of a two month old baby boy jordan and andre and sean do have your amir rodriguez david johnson. They are all among the twenty. Two people killed in the el paso shooting last weekend. Fernando garcia leads the border network for human rights in el paso. I think we are sorry now. Transition moment from morning are victims are families. I mean this has impacted the soul the spirit of our community community to now asking questions essentially why this happened and i think the answers to those questions are becoming more terrible terrible in even worse than the incident itself because we had a now the realization that this was a result of extreme hate rhetoric rhetoric in anti immigrant feelings and so people is not only sad but also they are outraged and upset. I mean obviously you've got to ask questions uh-huh but is it hard right now to do that to pivot especially after such a horrific tragedy it is hard. I mean i cannot say that he c- c- <hes> we all know somebody that either was there in where attacked or was injured or unfortunately died so i think these the difficult but at the same time we need to call it what it is what we are reflecting on is the intersection of tweedles guns and an white supremacy in whatever solution we had he has to actually deal with that immediately the past seventy two hours just just in terms of what the community there has needed. I mean what kinds of services and supports our people seeking out you know. There's been several community reactions in actions. <hes> wh whoa i mean obviously people is flooding the blood banks. People is a services some visuals but let me tell you one thing. I think it's important the day that saturday that afternoon when i was getting ready preparing for a press conference next day i was in my home in my fourteen year old came to me out of the blue in the midst of those things that i was doing. He looked at me very sad in. He told me that he was afraid. I mean this is a u._s. Citizen the least with a human rights organizer telling his father that he was afraid. What did you talk to him. I mean do you even feel i just i just couldn't say anything honestly have in embrace him and kissed him but i think my reflection at that moment right after this that if this is the case of my son i mean what is the case with many families especially immigrant down families nowadays a new level of fear that like the heat and they racist rhetoric also can kill people i mean there was a fear prior of immigration enforcement and now a fear of people with guns. Are you finding people who are actually changing their daily routines. You know that day the day the venue did they after the event will receive some calls in especially through social media people that was impacted by the shooting there dad walmart they will concern what the presence of border patrol near hospitals and clinics and they didn't want to go to us for help. Your group boarder network for human rights is helping to organize a nationwide vigil tomorrow. It's <hes> also call to action against white supremacy. The hashtag is el. Paso fear may so as families and communities more in the loss of loved ones. Do you have any concerns about speaking out about white supremacy. No not at all model. Maral <unk> concerns that the president is coming down to pass to say that this was a mental health issue but we're going to do an strong response to the visit. Hip is gonna be peaceful now. We're gonna show of bustles resilience and how proud we are of what we are fernando garcia the founder her an executive director of the border network for human rights speaking with us from el paso fernando. Thank you very much for your time. Thank you for having same border now. Different city in tijuana thousands of migrants are waiting at the mexican border sometimes for months or longer to enter the us. Many of the migrants are mexicans themselves. Fleeing drug cartels tells this week in our series the waiting room. We're telling the stories of these people waiting their turn to cross into the us from t. One of the world's monica campbell has one family family story. The shelter is packed. People are sitting wherever they can on benches suitcases fanning themselves in the heat. Kids are running around going a bit stir crazy their shelters like this all over not warning and the u._s. Mexico border this one's for women in children with people from haiti central america but also mexicans and fleeing violence like who tina she sits under the shelters fig tree watching her two young children. It's day day thirty five for them. In tijuana who've been tina is a lawyer inner thirties. She says the trouble began. When the cartel took over her town down in the mexican state of mature khan and she began protesting their presence watergate joyce through the delays missing the other low pay orca llosa noah ah format quarterback said she's a lawyer and she believes in the law she and some of her neighbors spoke out against the cartels hand picked candidate for mayor who lost the cartel blamed who've antena then a text came at three a._m. Mandal man suheil as today's element by polity a friend warned they're coming for you spoke on prescott that must be employed on documentaries personal- see impo queiro. She and her family fled leaving behind a farm and two stores taking just clothing thing and some documents newspaper stories about the cartels copies of threatening texts a police report. They filed who in tina knows it'll help them make their case for asylum but as long as she's in mexico. She's terrified lealamanua perceived. We only leave the shelter when we have to. She says she's worried. The cartels will find her family. It's why she asked us her first name only. She says she never wanted to leave mexico. Oh nominee malls cuomo swain. You're listening. We're not here for the american dream. She says that was never our plan. Her husband spend is nearby at a shelter for men and the next day. We all meet at plaza right at the border. It's where migrants gather to hear if their names are called from a long wait list. This is how u._s. Officials limit how many people can ask for asylum. Mexicans shouldn't have to wait on these as louis since they're already in the country. They're fleeing but many are stuck on these lists anyway. I asked cuban tina her number on the list i can you those means that the squadron bay her numbers two thousand seven hundred and forty nine but their numbers chris coming up. I noticed tina's kids glancing at their forearms. They'll have their uncles telephone a number written in black marker on their arms. They wanna make sure they can call him when they're in u._s. Custody then the last last name is called for the day. It's not who've been tina's. The woman walked away with the megaphone. The next day who've been tina's number is finally called old and u._s. Immigration officials take them into custody three days later. I hear from who've been tina komo so yes. She and her family are in san diego. They've just been released from a border holding cell or the aletta. She says the icebox walks as many migrants. Call it because the souls are cold weather forecasts whom tina says it was rough. The lights were on twenty four seven. Even the kids were afraid but now they've been released u._s. Officials put ankle monitors on who've been tina and her husband to track them. The also have of an immigration court date soon at this point. The family is headed for washington state where they have relatives. Who've in tina's sends me photos this from the bus. Her husband is sleeping. The kids are awake. Her little boy is standing on the seat looking out the window for the world monica campbell tijuana tomorrow in our series the waiting room we meet a trained nurse from west africa waiting at the same border the islands of cape verde sit in the mid atlantic but of the twenty twenty olympics it will compete in swimming for the very first time the cape verde olympic committee heard about three siblings here in the u._s. Us not far from us in boston fact all of them competitive swimmers all of them of cape verdean descent letroy troy and jalen pena took a break from practice the town of seekonk massachusetts to tell their story five seconds gay my name's literary pena <hes> and where on seekonk high school where we train while he practised like three times a day like six to ten hours a day so every day except for sundays sundays read some distance. The pool to me is where i released like. I don't have to worry about school. I don't have to worry about anything else else like i just come here and i do my practice folks. I'm driving your trust scored. If that's not working for driving your shoulders for following behind your hands i start off here seat hong which is majority of a white school so i was pretty much the only like five team you know going to howard. It was totally different. Howard university is the only historically black college would swim team so that's probably the best part being able to represent you know minorities oreta certain each other dot for mark. I was the first to actually find out about us possibly swimming cavour so i was in the movie theaters with my college team <hes> we was actually watching black panther and i got this random message stating reading like hi. I'm from the word federation and we're looking for swimmers. We know that you guys swim and we know that your birdieing and all this and i i i was like this has to be a job first thing. My mom dad was like you know who are these people. She started messaging now and once that happened. We continued the process uh becoming national team in the olympic team so we make three for it to me and my two blinks but representing cape vert. It's the best thing that's has ever happened to us. Honestly search ourselves up so that you are going to be racing someone. I think the strongest amount of all three of us would be my younger sister. She's definitely going to be a great summer. My name is jill pinot and fourteen and i started swimming. When i was five years old. We're very competitive. Additive one another especially me and my sister. I'd say i'm the best <unk> pena and i will be representing caver in the twenty me twenty olympics. My youngsters get faster than my oldest sister. So gets definitely gets competitive. I'm in the middle but i just continue to push. Both of them. Get faster travel to places in the u._s. But now i have never tried outside of the united states until i went to african. Championships never never thought i would go to china south korea algeria morocco this summer so it's definitely taking places that i never thought i'd be able to go well if you have ten weeks to get in shape because i believe there's a meeting south korea. That's calling your name. Let's work on that try. I'll you know this is the first ever olympic. I'm gonna push myself to do the best that i can at this olympics and it's more for experience you just gotta start off slow and reach each for the goals slowly. Please take all your style up. Put it away santa. Mario kavita play produced that story for the bbc about the pena siblings the here in the boston area training to swim for cape bird in the twenty twenty olympics. You're listening according to the world. I'm marco werman. This is the world we might be entering a dangerous new phase of the u._s. China trade dispute currency warfare but today china's signal it was not ready to weaponize its currency that may just sound like a bunch of nouns and verbs. He's here to explain. What i just said is the world's jason margolis jason what's so dangerous here what so dangerous as markets and companies like certainty they wanna know oh what's coming and they want predictability so if you're a company and you're investing your money in china you want to know that you can get this product out of china at this price for the next excu years and right now everything is uncertain and markets are reeling and companies don't know where to invest or how to invest and furthermore if if china cuts its currency other countries could follow and it could just be a race to the bottom and worst case scenario. We ended up in a global recession. Give me an example of <hes> you know predictable action. The u._s. might take under trump that could lead to some unexpected outcome. You just asked me for predictable outcome under the trump administration. Defer next question please. The the president came out swinging twitter blaming china for all of this calling china. A currency manipulator is china entirely to blame international economics are very complicated and china does control its own currency but it's in relation to another currency and right now. The dollar is very strong for a variety of reasons so the renminbi is falling but the dollar is strong so i sat down with economists michael klein line at the fletcher school at tufts university just outside of boston and klein also runs a website called connell fact and where a group of economists who explain very complex economic issues issues for non economists and we were talking about the dollar in relation to the renminbi and this is what he told me so when people ask is is the dollar strong or is the renminbi week. My answer is yes and so when president trump sent out a flurry sorry of tweets going after china blaming china for everything this has been cleansed reaction to president trump's tweets very few things are simple enough to be explained in one hundred forty forty characters. So what you're saying is it's complicated and china is not entirely to blame correct. I mean this is a fight and president trump started this fight. He punched is china in the face and you can't blame china for punching back now. Many argue that china has been a bully and finally president trump has stood up to china but president obama allman president bush had different approaches to dealing with the bully jason just help us understand why a country like china would devalue its currency okay so you have one one dollar in your pocket and you exchange dollar and you get six. Renmimbi and let's say a chinese toy cost one renminbi so you can buy six toys right now. The renminbi weakens and you take that same dollar and you can get seven renmimbi. So how many toys can you get now. Seven toys seven toys so that's a pretty good deal now back in the united states that one dollar used to be able to buy you you six toys made in ohio well now. That guy in ohio can't compete with the chinese toymaker. That's clear but i'm still a little confused. Why china would devalue its currency. So why are they doing this. Now is you're saying yeah because president trump is threatening to put even more tariffs on chinese imports starting september first consumer goods goods from china. Things like toys could be hit with a ten percent tariff which is nothing more than a tax paid at the u._s. Border so all of a sudden all of those chinese made toys that we've been in buying it walmart could be ten percent more expensive for us so china is signaling this week all right we still wanna sell our toys and we'll try to offset that tariff rough by weakening our currency gotcha the world's jason margolis. Thanks for explaining this thank you marco. Tony morrison died died today at the age of eighty eight the first african american woman to win the nobel prize in literature mars and told the b._b._c. back in two thousand nine at writing about slavery with such a a large subject there were moments when i faltered and you know i would stop writing for a while until the language was air but my job was so easy compared to theirs so i thought well if they could endure that live the least i could do is <hes> right about it. Lavinia jennings is an english professor at the university of tennessee ac- she's also the author of tony morrison and the idea of africa. I s jennings about meeting. Tony morrison it was glorious. We were in charleston south carolina at a tony morrison society conference and it was an honor morrison's always very a gracious she would often come to the conferences lent her support her encouragement her guidance. She was a phenomenal mentor. Tertre woman leader writer i. I'm guessing that wasn't the first time you've met her in person what she like. Ms morrison was a woman of my mother's generation the way she comported herself the way she spoke her concerns. Her issues were very much. The issues choosing concerns that <unk> mother and women in my church very much spoke about in the ways that she did genius does not describe driver. It just does not encapsulated her. Morrison was a person who could break ideas of race and class engender down to its very core. She understood all the nuances of that. Her art was a compelling tool fool for women across the board. She was just cut to the core up an issue or a matter like laser so professor jennings. You've got at this really tight connection with tony morrison. Were you feeling today. <hes> great sadness great loss. She was is of course an american writer but she was a global treasurer. I'm thinking about how her novel beloved had. Its thirtieth anniversary surrey in two thousand seventeen <hes> it's appeared in seventy five customers all over the world she was read by readers and finland in spain and egypt slovenia the netherlands <hes> many students who would reach out to me as a scholar would often be readers in students students from china so she was a global treasure her themes her writings resonated with readers across the globe she another stood the politics of humanity do her own writings provide you with the thought or a quote or even a moment that you shared with her something. Having you kind of we'll hang onto definitely i'm a part of the tony morrison society and i i was at nyack new new york two thousand fifteen. It was commemorating a project and nyack is where morrison's home is and after the celebration she invited the members of the society to her home and as many no she lost a son and as i was is leaving her home there's this wonderful portrait of that son and i pause to look at it and as i was looking at it. She said eh handsome isn't he. And i said yes he is and to me. That's the moment that i feel. I really cherish that. I was one of many who was allowed to come into a personal space and to visit with her university of tennessee professor. Lavinia jennings helping us remember writer tony morrison who died today at the age of eighty eight lavinia. Thank you very much thank you. Trump's man in moscow is out and let's face it the job of u._s. ambassador to russia at this moment moment in history that is a tough gig been sitting at the post for two years while the u._s. Russian relationship is just awful more on the resignation of ambassador asadollah jon huntsman coming up here on the world. I'm i'm marco werman. It's the world where co production of the b._b._c. world service w. g. b. h. boston p._r._i. N._p._r. ex when syrian started fleeing the civil war home crossing into turkey. They were mostly welcomed. Something like three and a half million syrian refugees fled to turkey but now the turkish governments patience seems to be running out human rights groups say they believe that turkey has deported thousands of people in recent weeks including syrians turkey has stepped up enforcement of rules that require refugees to to remain in the districts where they were officially registered turkish officials denied deporting series back to their home country but syrian activists say they've collected evidence that contradicts those claims duri s- karen has the story from istanbul. The volunteers huddle around a coffee table cluttered with pistachio shells and a pack pack of american spirits. Dan the call comes from a detention centers landline phone. This group of friends who asked to remain anonymous have been receiving calls from detained refugees who say they are about to to be deported to syria though the turkish government denies that this has happened a twenty eight year old student tells me that the number of calls and similarity of the stories suggest suggests otherwise we have had the call and they were passing the phone to another one another one. We heard like news stories new in this detention center. He says some of the caller. I said they had residency permits allowing them to stay in turkey legally but weren't carrying them when they were arrested others. He says had permits that were only valid for another another turkish province callers told him that while they were in detention police forced them to give their fingerprints and sign forms saying they would voluntarily go back back to syria because like all of them. They were worried about their families. Who is living here. What about my family was living in istanbul and i'm the one who's looking after the family. Activists activists in istanbul believed that as many as six thousand people were deported to syria in recent weeks as part of a stepped up campaign to enforce turkish refugee policies some were apprehended during work place rates or arrests at their homes bit seditionists jake missiles that speaks number in an interview with turkish broadcaster tv turkey's interior minister sulaiman soil. Lou says the arrests are part of a campaign to stop illegal migration but he denies that any were forcibly deported in turkey. Most syrian refugees are required to live in the province where they are registered by the government until recently the rule was largely in enforced but according to a new government directive issued anyone caught in the city without a valid permit will be sent to refugee camps after august twentieth breath then soyuz says they'll be registered and assigned province to live in about a thousand syrian blue says there are some who volunteered to go back back to the northwestern section of the country where the turkish military has declared a safe zone but twenty-three-year-old feroce jars says he he was forced to leave. He contacted me from northern aleppo in a video sent through whatsapp pajaro sits outside near low wall. A baseball hat lightly perched on his head in arabic explains how he lost his i._d. Card in turkey and was arrested in essence neighborhood popular among syrian refugees he. He says he was deported on july. Eighteenth female deer were a lot of people like me those who had documented those didn't have i._d. Jar says he was detained with other. Syrians and there were only given a small amount of food and water at the syrian border. He says turkish officers beat them. Your name lear shake on your arm luna math where did treating us like this. We don't understand it. This is not humane. It'll jar says in istanbul. He worked in a shoe factory and he was his family's sole provider. His father's elderly and his mother is dead alike even under miguel relief every syrian from their worries. May a peace be upon you. The activist who connected us said hajar has been allowed to come back into turkey but more than a dozen others that he's in contact with weren't so lucky for several months. The province of live has been under bombardment by russian backed forces loyal to the assad regime according to save the children at least four hundred people. Oh have died in the onslaught. Human rights groups say the deportations violate the international principle of nonrefoulement which forbids states from sending refugees back act to a country where they would be in danger but nonrefoulement is hard to enforce says emma sinclair web turkey director for human rights watch enforcement forcement is a very difficult issue because by the time courts of heard about people being referred they've been ruled already armed with individual testimonies syrian during activists say they're taking these cases to the turkish government and they've made some progress says boscell hallam of the syrian associations platform based in istanbul who is tracking the arrests says that after he met with the turkish government last week the deportations dropped off the hill look what it since three days thirty five people were reported as well as any homeless a fit in and be but comparing to the severeness of the campaign from the beginning i it's nothing helen says he now expects more syrians to leave turkey and try their lock in europe says name shut the honeymoon is over and suddenly we have policemen chasing arresting two young men at home. It's clear he says turkeys policies of welcoming refugees have changed for the worst for the world terry was skerrett. Hi it's don bill when the war in syria is over. It's pretty clear that in the capital damascus but sharla side will be able to claim victory but the rest of the country even with isis this out is very unsettled especially in the northeast of the country neighboring turkey is threatening to send troops into this area of syria the new u. s. defense secretary secretary mark asper said last night that was unacceptable and that the u._s. would prevent such a move so is the u._s. Now on a collision course with its nato ally turkey. Robert robert ford served as u._s. ambassador to syria from two thousand eleven to two thousand fourteen ambassador ford some listeners might even be surprised to hear that there are still u._s. Troops in syria after president president trump announced its withdrawal at the end of last year so first of all what u._s. forces are there and why are they there. There has been u._s. Troops on the ground in syria since two thousand and fifteen mainly to fight the islamic state. We don't know exactly how many are still there. President trump has withdrawn many media reports. I've i've seen suggests there are about a thousand american soldiers still in syria and in fact significant portion are now doing patrols along the syrian turkish border that isn't to fight isis. That's to prevent fighting between turkey and syrian kurds what are turks worried about with a assyrian kurdish entity inside syria. A significant part of southeastern turkey is majority kurdish in terms of population and and the turks are worried about their eventual territorial integrity the sanctity of their borders so why does the u._s. Oppose turkish beachhead as it were or to oppose any syrian kurdish coalition so the americans have too big motivations in remaining in northeastern syria area <hes> i they want to make sure that these syrian kurds and associated arab militias that work with these syrian kurds continue to fight fight against a small but real isis islamic state insurgency but the second reason is and as i mentioned there are a lot of american soldiers now doing peacekeeping ping between turkey and the syrian kurds. Why are they doing that. There is a sense among many american officials that the syrian kurds were good allies brave fighters in the effort against the islamic state and the americans oshima's certain kinds of loyalty <hes> when defense secretary mark asper for says the u._s. will prevent this turkish incursion to syrian territory. What exactly does he mean is. He really prepared to get into a firefight with a nato ally while i don't think either turkey or united states really wants to get into a genuine military fight into genuine military battle so i think <hes> a secretary esperer is trying to deter the turks from coming over the border into syria. Probably what he's going to do is put a sizable number of american forces. Mrs in observation points along the syrian turkish border that american forces have built up over the past year again the the aim being not to fight the turks but rather to deter them dancing into syria against these syrian kurds. Can the turks be be deterred and what is this doing to u._s. Turkish relations right now well. That is the sixty four thousand dollar question. Can the turks deterred. I really do not think i think the president air doin problematic as he is and he's very problematic but i don't think he wants a real military battle with american forces says for one thing the american air force if called into action with decimate advancing turkish forces so my guess is the turks will continue to negotiate associate and continue to put pressure on the americans by building up turkish forces on the turkish side of the border over the long term this the argument about syrian kurds and what to do about north eastern syria is damaging the turkish american relationship and of course turkey erkki is a key member of the nato alliance based on what you've been telling us. Ambassador does kind of feel like both sides are bluffing here but as always there is a risk cover mistake. How concerned are you worried about that risk. This has been going on now since really two thousand and sixteen and has become more acute feud over time what's adding to it is president trump's clear desire to eventually withdraw all american forces out of syria <hes> and so there's a there's a sharp debate inside the administration basically president against the defense department and the state department and then there's a second battle between washington and ankara over this. It's anybody's guess how long this can't continue ambassador robert ford senior fellow at the middle east institute and professor of global affairs at yale. Appreciate your time. Thank you my pleasure this spring in moscow. I sat down for an interview with this man ambassadors for for the record. Can you state your name your position and yet jon huntsman. That's j. o. N. without the h._r. Come from a long line of illiterates <hes> the u._s. ambassador to russia but not the u._s. ambassador for long today. Jon huntsman resigned his post. He's expected to run for governor in his home. State of utah joining me from moscow's reported charles els maine's <hes> the the run for governor has been telegraphed for a few weeks. Now it seems so was huntsman's. Move not totally unexpected well the rumors of course there was also a report by i c._n._n. Last week that sluice doubt huntsman's departure based on mary kaye huntsman this huntsman wife of based on your social media posts but you know here we are and there's also so huntsman's political career to think about the rumors that he's been i in this utah governor bid <hes> and it's interesting to see that he made the announcement that he was leaving moscow post in the local salt lake city newspaper. How is the russian government viewing his resignation. It's been released as say but i think it's safe to say that after two years on the job of the relationship between huntsman and the russian government was frayne just a bit <hes> my impression at least early on was that the russians were very pleased with huntsman in part because he's high-profile. He's a rockstar and i think it shows certain amount of respect that said he's been sitting in the post for two years while the u._s. Russia relationship has just been awful so we've had continued. Sanctions being issued against the russian government had the expulsion of without first russian diplomats and then u._s. Diplomats return <hes> and we of course dip huge differences is whether it's going over <hes> the issues syria ukraine election hacking and the rest so he he's had this sort of shoulder the way during the very difficult time in a relationship now president trump and russian president vladimir putin recently had a phone call in which the topic of the u._s. Ambassador came up what we know about that. Well this comes from the c._n._n. Report sightings embassy folks <hes> here in moscow and you know we don't know too much but it it is unusual. This was a call it <hes> president trump made to putin after the scene of stories about wildfires siberia. We've had just massive wildfires through eastern siberia here for the past month <hes> so you know there was making the offer for that and then it came up this idea to huntsman's departure and apparently the twos the two discussed <hes> who might replace huntsmen which is unusual to say the least particularly given the interest in the relationship ship between trump and putin at that we had back in the u._s. <hes> there was also <hes> other news recently that russia <hes> was banning the atlantic council think-tank which had been previously run by huntsmen is just some strange incidence well it might be or maybe it's a message <hes> they mentioned i think the relationship was frayne in a bid and with huntsman the as noted he ran the atlantic council for some time <hes> lenna council to my knowledge. Anyway doesn't run any programs in russia right now. They do have are some think tank an analysis done out of washington <hes> which often the russian government strongly disagrees with but you know seems to be going out of your way to stick your thumb mini. I of the ambassador here <hes> just to announce that this is a non desirable organization here russia now. Some huntsman's recent predecessors had notoriously difficult fickle relationships with the russian government. I how did huntsman do on that score well each each ambassador has their own style <hes>. If you take john the previous ambassador e was zeta <unk> diplomat <hes> his predecessor michael mcfaul who's the stanford professor and worked under the obama administration. <hes> you know he was also seen this someone who was a russified. He knew the country well at the same time <hes> his his approach. I think the job sometimes frayed relationships here particularly given the fact that he used social media lot interacted with russians and showed that diplomacy doesn't have to be this opaque thing when in fact russian on the sea is rather opaque and it seemed seem to kind of rub people the wrong way. I think sometimes so now there's this whole process of replacing huntsman and that's undoubtedly going to kick off more scrutiny of president trump's own relationship with russia. What can we expect well. It's trunk but it does seem those though career diplomats aren't always favor in the trump administration that's accu if you see this mass exodus of matt's from the state department and resignations by career diplomats from from posts across the globe so you have a lot of political appointees <hes> often friends of the president in posts or some opposed to simply sit empty <hes> certainly seen that around circle important countries mr huntsman's departure. You're also comes at a very politically charged moment. In the russian capital. We have protests going on about elections <hes> coming this fall and we heard the russian government accusing the u._s. of meddling in their internal affairs and trying to essentially stoke the protests so you know is this comes it really important moment here reported charlemagne's in moscow with the news that jon huntsman is stepping down from his post charles. Thanks for your time. Thank you at the world dot o._r._g. And on the radio you're with the world. I've never forgotten one thing that the world's patrick wind told me once about thailand strict drug laws suspicious police there can ask anyone randomly to pee in a cup open test them for drugs. If they find you've consumed any illegal substances even marijuana you're in trouble with the law but tiles leaders are rapidly shifting gears suddenly dead it said on churning out world-class cannabis for medical use the government says it's making marijuana a top priority a few months ago. They quietly allowed a small group of scientists scientists to start growing marijuana and experimenting with t._h._c. infused products. The aforementioned patrick got an early look at thailand's first legal cannabis research schlab. The first in all of asia set the scene for us patrick. What what was that cannabis lab like and how secret is well. There is this university north of bangkok called wrong set university. <hes> it's picture normal college campus. They have formed something called a gun. Gis studies department gone orange is the formal word for marijuana in thai so not they're not just having fun there so i get there and the gun just studies professors astor's take me to a lightly guarded rooftop five floors up on a campus building and i see this big greenhouse with these big stalks of marijuana wanna and the professors are agricultural innovators. That's what they call themselves and they're very proud. They'll look look. Look what we grew. We only got permission to do this a few months ago and so so i asked one of the professors this is really interesting but marijuana is technically still illegal in most aspects you know. Where did you get the seeds. And what <unk> strains are you growing now. We don't know yet because i'll week godfather. How'd you say light. Yeah bipolar is eh. We don't know exactly why cannabis strain so. She doesn't know what kind of cannabis strain they've got because they got the seeds from the police she gotten from the police. Yeah importing marijuana is still illegal in thailand so the researchers had to ask the narcotics bureau to be exact for marijuana seized seized from criminals so then when listening has been busted in the last year with wheat and thailand. Thank you for your contribution science and medicine your your plants look very nice. I got to see them from the rooftop. We went down into their laboratory and now they're running experiments on both the weed that they're growing and the weed that they got from the cops and it was there that i met the dean of the pharmacy school and he took me to see his stash in his laboratory. The cannabis raw material must be kept safe and street. This is the cannabis that we got from government government about forty kilograms forty kilograms. That's about eighty pounds not insignificant. Although from some of the pictures you took some of that cannabis looks like wet spinach. What are they doing with all this yet. I think in high school we would have called a dirt weed big. You know brown bricks of we'd wrapped in cellophane. That's what the scientists had and they're also using the stuff that they grow themselves and they're trying to make stuff out of it that they can give to patients and i should say most most of the we that they got from the cops was not useable because it has pesticides and toxins and heavy metals in it. This is all medical use so the people ingesting testing. It are going to be sick so it has to be very high quality. There's five illnesses allowed for cannabis treatment in thailand chemotherapy recovery multiple sclerosis epilepsy alexi so pretty serious conditions. The idea at this point is the doctor is not just gonna give you a spliff and say have fun. The doctor will give you something that's prescription. That's nonsmoke- -able that has t._h._c. in it so in that laboratory they're experimenting and playing around and making up their own t._h._c. recipes ps. I saw that they had made massage oils that you rub into your stomach. I saw some subtle little wafer cookie thing that they were making a t._h._c. nasal spray but by far my favorite was this herbal powder using locally grown ingredients and there's a researcher i met there. She was very proud to show off her <music> own recipe flavorful powder. These recipe is composed of pogo medicine as back pepper ginger and cannabis cannabis leave so she says moore as herbal medicine of black pepper ginger cannabis. What's that gonna make and where's she getting this recipe from. I think she made it up. There's there's actually three types of pepper in her mixture. It actually made me fall in love with thailand all over again. They're putting pepper in the garden so ty it she's doing that because she's trying to come up with something that will appeal to the thai market sick people taking this will be tie so it has to taste good in fact. There's one ingredients ingredients. You didn't mention she wants people to mix this powdery stuff with coconut oil to enhance the flavor so i asked her what that would taste like demilio the chad bed nikon capping power to highlight tat home one happened nam indata kim guadagno tat. She just said there. If you mix it with coconut coconut oil it will be floral and sweet or if you mix it with pomegranate juice. It will be more bitter. Help us understand though what attitudes change within the thai the government that they they said we're gonna stop fighting marijuana at least for medicinal purposes in an embrace it. It's interesting. America has been an influence in the past because of its global war on on drugs now. American states are an influence there inspired by what's happening in places like colorado and california and all these other u._s. states. I can't even keep track anymore. That have legalized medicinal marijuana and they're following suit. It just really feels like the stigma is lifting not just in thailand and but starting to happen in another few asian countries as well and also i think long term they're thinking some money can be made from this as well so so when will people be actually able to go to the pharmacy and purchasing consume marijuana edibles for medicinal use that <hes> black pepper ginger and cannabis leaf leave powder. I think it's gonna be a while because they don't have enough marijuana for mass production tie officials. Keep calling this transition period where the public will get used to it it and the ramp up supply but there is this real excitement in the air. There's a scientist. I met at the research lab who had invented his own machine called called the herb press. Oh that distills t._h._c. from the leaves it. They're growing and he's a really good example of the doozy azam and buzz around cannabis in thailand. He thinks the country has this chance to become canvas capital of asia and just just listen to how excited he is pie is the best place to go marijuana and also aw we have variety of canopies specie the flowers knives or the plans earth. Everything is so so well adjusted to this climate so we can have will class quasi not here in tyler and you'll see happen in the next few years is they'll expand the list of types of sick people that can take it right now. You know chemotherapy arup treatment so that's very severe navy in three years back pain the world's patrick win in bangkok. Thanks very much. Thanks marco and that's that's the world on this tuesday. Our theme music was composed by ned porter. We come to you from the name and bill harris studios w._g._n. Boston hope can be with us tomorrow. The world is a co production reduction of w. G. p. h. boston the b._b._c. world service p._r._i. And p._r.
Remembering Toni Morrison
"This message comes from n._p._r. Sponsor xfinity some things are slow like a snail races. Other things are fast like xfinity x. by get get fast speeds even when everyone is online working to make wifi simple easy awesome more at xfinity dot com restrictions apply from w._h._y._y. In philadelphia this is fresh air. I'm david being cooley in for terry gross. Today we remember tony morrison the nobel prize laureate in literature and and pulitzer prize winning author of beloved song of solomon tar baby jazz and other novels as in children's books. She was known for her precise poetic prose. Her books drew from the black oral tradition african american folktales in the ghost stories. She was told as a child when she was young. There were few black characters n. books and when they did occur there's a kind of embarrassment a kind of a need to skip over those parts in say being in the tenth grade eight in reading uncle tom's cabin or seeing children's books in which was it sambo i mean you know these kinds of things. Any sort of politely erase ace them from your consciousness will listen back to excerpts from three of our interviews with her remembering. Tony morrison on today's fresh air today show is devoted to tony oni morrison one of the most celebrated writers of our time who died monday. She was eighty eight years old morrison pulitzer prize for fiction in one thousand nine hundred eighty eight for her novel. Oh beloved about a former slave looking back on her life. After the civil war in nineteen ninety-three she became the first african american woman to win the nobel prize for literature in two thousand twelve president obama awarded morrison the nation's highest civilian honor the presidential medal of freedom and in twenty fifteen. She won the lifetime achievement award from the national book critics circle today. We're going to feature three of toni morrison's conversations with terry gross covering three different decades. The most recent is from two thousand fifteen. When tony morrison published god help the child another is from nineteen ninety two the year she wrote her novel called jazz. Yes and we're going to start with the earliest of the three an interview from nineteen eighty-seven when she had just written beloved the novel for which she won the pulitzer prize beloved is set in eighteen seventy three after the civil war. It's about escaped and emancipated slaves who were trying to build new lives but are haunted by the past the main character sethi lives with the ghost of her two year old baby girl sethi slit her baby's throat eighteen years earlier rather rather than let her be recaptured into slavery. Her ghost is known as beloved the one word that was printed on her tombstone. Tony morrison told terry sorry how she prepared herself emotionally to write about slavery. I always suspected that i didn't have the emotional stability to live in that world for the three or four years however long it would take to examine it so i did it. <hes> i suppose the way they did <hes> <hes> which was a little bit of time because if you start out to write a book about slavery you're probably already lost because it's big and it's long and you discover how long two hundred years is <hes> <hes> not five years not ten two hundred so that you have to have a anchor or mooring and the mooring is a group of characters who are caring about very deeply but you couldn't tell yourself. I couldn't tell myself that i was is writing a book about slavery because it would have i would have drowned in that. I think there have been a lot of books and movies that have actually really trivialized sized slavery <hes> or where slavery becomes the backdrop for you know a romantic story or something like that. Did you feel in advance of descending down to write this book that there were certain traps that you had to avoid an order to really get to the truth of the experience yeah <hes> i think that was part of the fear <hes>. I'm trying to avoid the routine treatment. You and i'm included in this group. Everybody thinks you sort of know all about it <hes> but until you project into it <hes> most of the information is is <hes> so sensational so exotic so alien in so pathological that that it's difficult to grasp and the fact is that most slaves stories that focus on the slaves focus on them as the pathological ones and never focus on the pathology in which they live and in which they are exercising ising everything they know about being human in order to maintain that position so that the trivial treatments of make of of sleep stories sometimes written and sometimes filmed is as though this was the kind of <hes> as you say scene in which other things of infinitely more interesting then the lives of the slaves as we're going on. I think a lot of <hes> children who grew up in families families of <hes> holocaust survivors or <hes> families in which there's there's you know history in a history of of slavery someplace get almost parables toll to them about what could happen and why you have to live life a certain way to protect yourself against certain certain evils and how you have to rise above the horrors that were inflicted on on your grandparents or whatever did you did. You get lectures like that from your parents parents no i didn't. I got other messages from them which were much more valuable because those are very negative. The ones you just re sited. <hes> i mean it's undue burdens is though i am somehow responsible for <hes> all of that what they did which i found really quite healthy was they assumed without ever articulating it that we were <hes> capable able and quite bright and in some way morally superior to those who had degraded themselves by trying to degrade us. They seem to feel that you know the rich people are there were white people that were wicked people who really had a lot of answering to do for themselves and we were not like that so i always felt very special <hes> i've always felt for purposes. Says of xenophobia doesn't work but i always thought that we were on a higher plane than other people not because there was fear out there they're not because white people could make me into something less because they never believed that was the case what they could do would be to kill me on main amy whether you're never made me have be without quality and that was so much a part of my upbringing and everybody else i knew in that town on we were very very poor. People that i it took me years to be able to articulate what it was that made me feel like i belonged in in this place and it was this rather than giving me all these sort of <hes> sermonizing about tower in other words. I was not afraid you hit a lot of self respect yeah. That's what this song but it wasn't you must have. I hear people say you lost somebody. You really are good. Yeah all right and then people say oh yeah within. Maybe a possibility that i'm not but these they they were not surprised at its superior work. We the first person in your family to go to college no really i don't uncle who went to ohio state so it wasn't a big symbolic symbolic thing for us. It was a big economic brothel for me to go and shaky money being so scarce that <hes> my mother took a job to help out my father had to and more often than not three jobs in order to take care of us but i remember them saying look we can guarantee you one year after that lucy lucy so i went away feeling very blessed about the fact that there was a year available to me but not ever believing that i would have a second. Can you be able to pay for a second year and i also worked but you know things are very different than tony morrison speaking speaking to terry gross in one thousand nine hundred seven the year her novel beloved was published. It would win the pulitzer prize for fiction after a break. We'll hear tony morrison read from her novel jazz from another conversation between her and terry this one from nineteen. Ninety-two this is fresh air. This message comes from n._p._r. Sponsor each raid investing your money shouldn't require moving mountains no matter how much or how little experience you have each raid makes investing simple along with great value oh you they provide the tools and support you need to navigate the markets all to help your money work hard for you for more information visit each raid dot com slash n._p._r. We are e-trade securities l._l._c. member sipc. We're remembering raider. Toni morrison who died monday at the age of eighty eight terry gross spoke with her again in one thousand nine hundred to about her novel jazz her sixth novel and her first book since beloved jazzy said in harlem in nineteen twenty six and is about african americans who moved from the rural south to the urban north. It's also about love jealousy. Violence and aging a woman named violet finds out her husband has been having an affair with a younger woman whom he has killed at her funeral. Violet takes revenge on the corpse. Here's tony morrison morrison reading from the opening. I know that woman she's to live with a flock of birds on lenox avenue no her husband to he fell for an eighteen year old girl. One of those deep down spooky loves that made him so sad and happy he shot her just to keep the feeling going. When the woman her name is violet went to the funeral to see the girl and to cut her dead face they threw it to the floor and out of the church she ran into all that snow and when she got back to her apartment took the birds from their cages and set them out the windows to freeze or fly including the parrot that said i love you the snow she ran through with so windswept. She left no footprints in it so for time. Nobody knew exactly where on lenox avenue she lived but like me. They knew who she was who she had to be because they knew that her husband joe trace was the one who shot the girl. There was never anyone to prosecuting because nobody actually saw him. Do it and the dead girls aren't didn't want to <hes> throw money to helpless lawyers or laughing cops when she knew the expense wouldn't improve anything besides she found out that the man who killed internees cried all day and for him and for violent that is as bad as jail tony morrison reading from her her new novel jazz. You know the the woman who cuts the face of the dead woman. <hes> a character later says to to the woman who who does the cutting. I don't understand women like women with knives. Do you understand women with knives kind of crimes of passion like that not entirely early. I think part of the reason i was interested in the story and in that period was some way to figure out <hes> the impulses for you're violence as sort of notion of solution and how it plays into notions of license and freedom so it was a quest really on on my part. I'm not quite sure. I understand that kind of excess. Was there a particular crime that you wanted to understand or a particular woman with with a knife who you wanted to understand. The woman i really wanted to understand was darcus. <hes> the young girl who is based on a historical figure actually a young girl who died in harlem at party shop by her lover with a silencer and who refused used to let anybody help her because she wanted to give him time to get away and waited so long that she bled to death that was extremely provocative to me that kind of romance that probably is representative of song that young wow her acceptance of his violence the way in which a young girl or woman deals with assault under certain circumstances stances and certain ears and periods. What's the closest. You've seen to this in real life. I've never seen any other. I i mean i don't i had seen it or participated in it. I probably wouldn't be so interested in writing about it but <hes> it was sort of outside. I wanted to own personal experience that is compulsive no family legends or neighborhood legends from when you were growing up not about women about out men yes <hes> who were championed because of their endurance and their response to violence associated with them but the women even that i knew were <hes> <hes> i suppose in a manner verbally able to deflect violence. There's there's a passage in jazz about the kind of women who needed a certain kind of protection. There were those who had <hes> raises taped to do their hands. There were those who are willing to boil <hes> lie and those who are willing to put ground glass food but there is a secondary passage acids which explains what a large majority of black women did in terms of trying to protect themselves the church. The club movement the acquisition of property <hes>. I think the line goes any black woman in nineteen. Twenty six did not share some of those protective protective gestures was silent or crazy or dead tony mars and is my guest. You have the sense in your algiers of people coming to harlem. We're coming to the city and feeling more like themselves. They're more like the people they always believed. They were is the way you you put it. That's obviously something we're really interested in developing story just what what it meant physically emotionally for people move to move moved to the city <hes> you must have stories about that in your in your family history though i do yes that move from the rural areas where i think in literature sometimes we romanticize into the freedom of the countryside you know the sort of ability to commune with nature and b. ones <hes> <hes> transcendent self and there is that <hes> mythos in richard and there's an accompanying one which is the freedom of a city on the one enhanced certain kind of anonymity but more particularly for an especially for african americans it was moving into an area where there were so many of you you could see yourself in your number and there was a certain kind of protection in that as well as some license also it was. I don't know the idea of a city as being a place where there is a mix where there are many classes many kinds of the people and however eccentric you are there. Are you know at least a hundred other people who are eccentric in precisely the same way so that one has solitude solitariness individuality and community in a city. What would you sheriff us. One of your parents migration stories yes <hes> i think one of the ones that i remember best with when my mother's parents left left the south left alabama <hes> my grandmother's husband my grandfather had gone to a large city <hes> to earns some money playing the violin as a matter of fact and she was alone on their farm with these children who were very very young. I think my mother was five five and there was some danger about it was the time when a woman alone with several children was <hes> kind of target and her words were that when she noticed white boys beginning to circle that house she had to leave immediately so she sent word to her husband to my grandfather by by somebody who was on route to tell him that she would be on exchan- at x. time and that <hes> if she wanted if he wanted to see them again he should be there and so they left in the middle of the night <hes> in the middle of the night because there's always debt in that sort of share cropping situation that most most <hes> post-reconstruction black people found themselves and and <hes> went to birmingham and got on the train and as the train pulled out there was no papa and the chiltern all began to cry and a few miles outside the city he appeared hurt but he hadn't felt that he could show himself at the station and get on with them because they were escaping that cycle of debt. You know that round that you never really escape because you know the commissary of the general store you need for the feed and that takes the crops etc so it was a happy <hes> event for them and then the subsequent stops on that route to where they were headed looking for work for mines that we're asking for laborers for mills for women who could work in service is an interesting and very typical story and the ended up on the shores source of lake erie where i was born in ohio. Yes what was lorraine like when you were growing up what kind of neighborhood <hes> we're we're. We're you growing up in. It was an interesting place. I still think it's remarkable in that part of ohio and i think in a large and many of those states i never lived in a black neighborhood <hes> <hes> because what we were living in we're really just poor neighborhoods so that i grew up with all of the other immigrants who are coming to this country <hes> <hes> i'm thinking as i speak to you now the house where my mother lives <hes> at this moment and the people on the street are named her shack and golini and my mother are there any black woman named mrs ross and so on that's always been the case in that town because it was the steel town and people were coming from mexico from eastern in europe from scandinavia from everywhere as well as black people coming to these centers just after world war one and someone in some instances before in order to find work so we had a kind of town that was <hes>. I don't know all the ideals there are probably purely rhetorical existed in that little town however everybody whether they were polish people or what what they used to call slovenes in those days <hes> had their own halls churches and <hes> you know family life that was not mixed. You know you didn't exchange on those areas in those days but this one high school four junior high schools and we all went to the same school so what was the african american cultural center was at the church or was it something else the church absolutely the church part of it was sunday part of it was sunday school but a lot of it was taking taking care of each other and what i remember most is the impetus and the necessity for my mother and her friends and for all of us to take food to people who need it or to go oh clean somebody's house if they were bedridden <hes> all sorts of chores are taken for granted when people got old they didn't have a place for for them to go and if their families were indigent or couldn't take care of them that was the responsibility of the women of the church or of the neighborhood it was just a constant constant distant <hes> part of one's life. I think in the bluest eye recorded something similar that really happened which is my sister and and i would sleep in the same bed and we might wake up and there might be a child next to us. Somebody who was in difficulty or the parent was set or gone and women in the neighborhood take them in and there might be some children living with his you know two weeks or months or what have you you know kind of violation of <hes> what everybody seems to sink is important which is intimacy and privacy but at the same time it was kind of sharing of <hes> other of responsibility social responsibilities was we never no one ever talked about it and said you know you ought to be responsible member of society but everything people did was like that in your new book of literary criticism playing in the dark you write about how until recently american readers there's were assumed to be white and you wonder what that assumption has meant to the literary imagination in america. Were you when you started reading. Were you conscious of <hes> <hes> reading books in which there were <hes> few if any black characters no i was conscious of of there being a sort of disruption in some books when black people did occur and there was a kind of embarrassment a kind of a need to skip over those parts in say being in the tenth grade in reading uncle tom's cabin <hes> or seeing <hes> children's books in which <hes> was it sambo i mean you know these kinds of things and you sort of politely erase them from your consciousness until you get older and then when i became a writer i had to function in a language that was coded in a number of ways and and i had to work with those codes i didn't have access to some of the metaphors and shortcuts that say a white writer has who feels he or she is unraced. I and they can take for granted the centrality of their experience because it is white and they think that's on being without a race everybody anybody else has raised white people don't <hes> they could take for granted that kind of centrality and they could use cleverly <hes> brilliantly <hes> effectively or not as the case might be the presence of black people just as they frequently did the presence of women. It's sort of something you have in your kid so when you say that the language was coded. Let me get you to elaborate on the kind of code you felt you had to yeah cut through or work around <hes> using black women and men to appear in a scene scene for no reason other than to provide the tension that might suggest illegal sexuality or violence silence they have no other function except to define and to suggest <hes> these <hes> to be the association association of and you wonder why they there and they may never be picked up again to have <hes> classical american literature turn to need to establish virtue power and dominance over something and to need an obedient <hes> black person person or someone who loves you irrationally mark tweens. Jim is irrational. In that sense <hes> his i love is boundless and he's a grown man talking to children <hes> you i could not do that say with a white man who was an ex ex-convict. I i think it's fair to say that in most of your fiction there's really been very few significant white characters well. Yes yeah so <hes> how how does that relate to what you're talking about. Now about the you know about the code and all well in in a sense having having it would be silly for me to write or to concentrate on major wife derek does <hes> because i wasn't interested in it and also it destabilizes the <hes> pro the progress of the narrative in a way for example putting in a young black girl centerstage seemed to me a radical thing to do and nineteen sixty five when i first began writing the bluest eye once you begin to permit the reins of the narrative to be held by a major white person you lose the agency you lose the terrain <hes> the imaginative terrain because you may be forced into responding to a white presence oscilloscope examining what the interior lives of these people are without the constant need to explain to editorialize into fix so it was an enormous liberation for me and one that i find to be <hes> repeated a lot particularly in the work of of <hes> black women once you take take those people out then it's the whole world is available now for <hes> for one's own creativity but in a sense it's. It's all a little bit more real than that white. People were not central to my life. They were out there sort of on the edge sometimes wonderful all in enabling sometimes hostile and disabling but the heart of the life even in the town that i described was in our household in our family so that in the novels i wanted to in that sense <hes> not have characters who were always required to consistently think about what people were thinking it makes you reduce them in some sort of stereotypical typical way that you that i would shy away from but certainly i was interested in fascinated by and <hes> so thrilled by a number of minor figures that is secondary figures enabling figures in who are white such as amy denver in <hes> beloved who is not required to be a white person in that scene because she's not around any other white people so she can go ahead and be a person and also she does something that almost never happens if ever in american fiction which is to have a white person touch a a black person with some motive other than sex or violence tony morrison speaking with terry gross in nineteen ninety-two after a break. We'll hear one more of terry's conversations with the celebrated author who died monday at age eighty eight. This one is from just four four years ago in two thousand fifteen. When tony morrison published what would be her last novel. God help the child. This is fresh air support for fresh air and the following message come from rocket mortgage by quicken loans. Imagine how it feels to have an award winning team of mortgage experts make the home buying process smoother for you with a history of industry leading online lending technology rocket mortgage is changing the game visit rocket mortgage dot com slash fresh air equal housing lender licensed in all fifty states in m._l._s. consumeraccess dot org number thirty thirty rocket mortgage by quicken loans push-button get mortgage <music>. What do all of these people haven't common kamla harris. Keep food adjudge and bernie sanders. They're all running for president and they've all sat down with us on on the n._p._r. Politics podcast appeals gonna drive me crazy. We are going out on the trail with as many of the democratic presidential candidates as we can bring you in depth interviews with them. Come along by subscribing to the n._p._r. Politics podcast in two thousand fifteen at the age of eighty four tony morrison wrote a new novel called god. God help the child which would be the last one published in her lifetime. She died monday at the age of eighty eight. God help. The child begins with the line. It's not not my fault. Those words are spoken by an african american woman explaining that she has no idea why she gave birth to such a dark skinned baby. The mother is embarrassed by her daughters darkness and wants to distance herself. The daughter is scarred by not having her mother's love. The novel is about those childhood wounds that leave a lasting mark even into adulthood tony morrison welcome back to fresh air. I'd like to start by asking muted. Do a reading from your new novel so this is from very early in the novel where sweetness the mother who is light skinned african american is was talking about how shocking and upsetting it was to give birth to a daughter with very dark skin as she describes it midnight black sudanese black so would you pick up from there with the reading sure i hate to say it but from the very beginning in the maternity ward the the baby lula an embarrassed me her birth skin was pale like all babies even african ones but it changed fast. I thought it was going crazy when she turned blue black right before my eyes i know i want crazy for a minute because once it's just for a few seconds. I held a blanket over her face and pressed but i couldn't do that. No matter how how much i wished she hadn't been born but that terrible caller i even thought of giving her away to an orphanage someplace and i was scared to be one of those mothers who put their babies church steps recently. I heard about a couple in germany any why s snow who had a dark skinned baby. Nobody could explain twins. I believe one white one colored but i don't know is true. All i know is that for me. Nursing her was like having a picket any sucking deed route. I went to bottle feeding soon as i got home. My husband lewis is a porter and when he got back off the rails he looked at me like i was really crazy and looked at her like she was from the planet jupiter. He wasn't cussing man so when he said god damn what the hell is this. I knew we were in trouble. That's what digit what caused the fights between me him. It broke our marriage to pieces. We had three good years together but when she was born he blamed me and treated lula and like she was a stranger more than that an enemy he never touched her. I never did convince him that. I ain't never ever fooled around with another man. He was did sure sure. I was lying. We are to argued till i told him her blackness be from his own family not not my that's tony morrison reading from her new novel. God help the child so the mother this's herself from the daughter because of the daughters orders dark skin the father leaves thinking this child must not be his because he too is lighter skin and that's that's the whole story in motion and i'm wondering why you chose <hes> color you know the the level of blackness as the central part of the story well. I wanted to separate color from embrace. <hes> distinguishing color light black inbetween as the marker her for race is really an hour. It's socially constructed. It's culturally enforced. I edit has some advantages for certain people but this is really <hes> skin privilege <hes> the ranking of color in terms of its closeness to white people white skinned people and it's devaluation according to how dr corneas and the impact that has on people who are dedicated to <hes> the privileges of certain levels of skin color so were there times in your life when you've been exposed to that kind of <hes> hierarchy of color within the african american community i have. I didn't have it until i went away to college. I didn't know there was this kind of preference but i noticed <hes> n addition to the outside world of washington d. c. Which at that time this is ninety ninety four point nine nine hundred fifty. There were very obvious stated written differences between what white people were able able to do and what black people were able to do but on the campus were. I felt safe and welcome. I began to realize that this idea of the lighter the better and the darker the worse was really <hes> an had an impact on sororities on friendships on all sorts of things and it was stunning to me and you went to a traditionally african american college howard university. Yes there's a new york magazine cover story about you recently gently and in that article you described when you were young witnessing your father throw white man down the stairs because your father thought this man and was coming up the stairs after his daughters. Was your father afraid that this man was coming to abuse you and your sisters. I think he thought so. I think his own experience in georgia would have made him think that any white man bumbling up the stairs. He's toward our apartment was not there for any good and since we were little girls. He assumed that i think he made a mistake. I mean i really think the man was drunk. I don't think he was really trailing us but the interesting thing was a the white man was he survived. Be the real thing for me. Was i felt profoundly protected and defended i did i was not happy because after my father threw him down the steps all the way out into the street he he through our tricycle after that was a little bit of a problem since we needed her tricycle but that made me think i think that there was some devil terry something evil about white people which is exactly what my father thought he was very very serious in his hatred of white people what mitigated it was my mother other who is exactly the opposite who never rejected or accepted anybody based on race or color or religion take any of that. Everybody was an individual whom she approved or disapproved of based on her perception of them as individuals take. You said that this incident made you feel protected. It sounds terrifying though for two reasons one is that your father basically gave you idea that this man was coming upstairs to do harm and to watching your father not only through him downstairs throwing your tricycle down the stairs after after him. It sounds like that would be a little frightening to see also well. It was my father who could do do no wrong so i didn't think of it. As oh look my father's violent man he never spanked us. He never unquote with us. He never argued with us. He was dedicated. He was sweet so he did this thing to protect his children think it must have been hard for your father to hate eight white people and to live in a neighborhood in which does a lot of white people well. You know my father saw two black. Men lynched act on his street in carterville george as a child and i think seeing two black doc businessmen not vegas hanging from trees as a child was traumatic for him. If you're just joining us my guest is toni morrison and she has a new novel called. God help the child. The main characters birth name is lula and bridewell months. She's sixteen. She changes it to end bride. Two years later. She changes it to one name bride and she's in the fashion world in the cosmetics swirl severi signature kind of name to have names very important in your fiction. There's often people people often have nicknames uh-huh and <hes> i i'm interested in hearing about why names have such <hes> real and symbolic importance importance in your stories was the whole history i think in naming <hes> in the beginning of black people being in this country they we lost the name and they were given names by their masters and so they didn't have names and they began to call one another other. You know decades later by nicknames. I don't think i knew any of my father's friends male friends by the real name i remember them only by their nicknames and also there was a honesty. Sometimes the names were humiliating deliberately so somebody would pick out your flaw. If you were a little to call you shorty and if you were angry they would call you the devil i remember a man who was called jim the dell always those three words have you seen the devil no no and then you think of the musicians <hes> satchmo louis armstrong what is saturated that satchel mouth or you think about them giving themselves royle names duke and count don't and king you know it's very personal identification trying to move away maybe abc from the history of having no name and then personalizing it one one hand to give you a name. That's embarrassing in in order to make you confronted deal with now and then later on more charming names move away from mm humiliating names like sexual so your birth name is khloe wofford marson. Was your married name when you're married but you you you've been divorced a long time since nineteen seventy four and tony was shortened from anthony which was the name when you were <hes> vent and so am i right in saying that you became a catholic when you were twelve. That's what i read e. I so so let's start with your name. Once you started being called tony. Did you feel different from being called khloe. I never felt like anything other than khloe. In oh my name khloe. Nobody could pronounce it properly outside my family in school. The teachers called me clo clo v we because it was spelled that way it's much more common now but i couldn't bear to have people mispronounced announced by name but the person i was was this person who is called khloe so then i go away away and the people in washington they don't know how to pronounce c._a. Jell o. e. so somebody mistakenly called me tony because she couldn't hear khloe so i said now so i don't care com you tony. It's easy you don't mispronounce by name and then i meant to put my maiden name came in the first book i wrote as a matter of fact by call the publisher and said oh by the way i don't want tony morrison to be on the ball and they said it's too late. They've already sent it to live of congress but i really would ahead preferred tony lawford tony morrison speaking with terry gross in two thousand fifteen more after a break. This is fresh air support for this n._p._r. Podcast and the following message come from curio collection by hilton with all curio collection by hilton hotels. There's something more to discover. Take the foodie forward resorts of silence goon in the maldives and the eager own hotel in spain eager ron's michelin starred chef diego guy iago's romances pilots highlights with multicultural and environmentally friendly dishes. Silence guna takes personalization to a new level by using natural ingredients to create unique nick plates for each guest. Are you curious visit hilton dot com slash n._p._r. Support for n._p._r. Comes from w._h._y._y. Presenting the pulse a podcast that takes you on adventures into unexpected corners of health and science plastic in the guts of deep sea creatures crying after after anesthesia building your own internet. Each episode is full of fascinating stories and big ideas the pulse available where you get your podcasts or at w._h._y._y. Dot org. Let's conclude our salute to author toni morrison who died monday at the age of eighty eight by returning to the interview she recorded with terry gross in twenty twenty fifteen so just one more question you. You didn't start writing till you're thirty nine forty because you didn't have the time or didn't didn't know you had it in you. Like what was the point in which you said i'm gonna write a novel what changed when i was teaching at a howard university after got her masters at cornell annouce gully my twenties and i joined a group of faculty and writers who met i think once a month to read to each other and critique doc each other so i brought to these meetings little things i had written for classes as an undergraduate and dan they had really good lunches really good food during these meetings but they wouldn't let you continue to it. Come if you're just reading old stuff so i had to think of something new if i was going to continue to have this really good food in really good company so i started writing and i remember very clearly that was writing was a pencil sitting on the couch writing with a pencil trying to think up something and remembering what i just described the tablet was that legal pad you know yellow with the lines and i had a baby. My over sun was barely walking and he spit up on the tablet and i was doing something really interesting. I think with the sentence because i wrote around the puke because i figured i could always wipe that. I might not get that sense. So i wrote a bit of that. I went to the meetings. They thought it was very interesting. Because this you know maybe five or six pages and they were very encouraging and then i left and i went to syracuse etcetera etcetera and in the mornings before my children were awake i would go back and finish that and then it took five years by the way to write that little book because i wasn't thinking about publishing. I was thinking about the narrative and i want to say so. That's really how got started tony morrison. Thank you so much for talking with us. I really appreciate it. You're very welcome tony morrison speaking to terry gross in two thousand fifteen. Today's show also featured terry's interviews with the celebrated author from nineteen ninety two and from nineteen eighty-seven tony morrison died monday. She was eighty eight <music> on monday. Show terry's guests will be sister helen prejean who wrote about ministering to men on death row in the book dead man walking at the age of eighty. She has a new memoir about her spiritual. She'll talk about entering the convent as a teenager celibacy and her work in social justice hope you can join us fresh. Air's executive producer is danny miller. Our technical director and engineer is audrey bentham with additional engineering support from joyce lieberman and jillian hurts. All our associate producer for digital media is molly seavy nesper. Roberta shorrock directs the show for terry gross. I'm david being cooling.
Toni Morrison and Harold Prince: Immortal Voices
"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 so the paperback confident that together and it became well distributed and well readiness as human notes imprint. The interesting thing is <hes> once i took about six years to write that book because i enjoy the process of invention so much and of translating some geographical places to disguising them a little bit using using them selecting senses metaphor all of the work that goes into fiction that was such a delight for me but i had done the real thing the important thing i had been working since i'm twelve years old so that i did have a full time job and by that time i had children small children so i had to write off hours in the night time when the children were asleep forget it very very early before they said momma but that filled my imaginative life in my inner life so much that i felt able and competent and smart in the other areas of my life because i had this secret thing that i was doing for me. Meaning i was the ideal reader i was the one whom i wanted okay to please <hes> selfish narcissistic all of that but that is part of i think the drive now it sounds disciplined and maybe there was some because external things you know. If you have a job you are disciplined. We have to go well. What happens if if you don't the point is i had the thing that i had never developed well. In terms of i mean i was excellent. Worker worker a very dedicated worker but in other ways. I was not a disciplined person i operated on something that works for me which is compulsion desperation and hunger and they're good substitutes. If you don't have have it's of discipline daily habits disciplined not intellectual discipline just abbots so having having completed that i was absolutely the most depressed melancholy sad had despairing almost person the world was so unbelievably bleak and no reason that hadn't existed before i mean it was the same old nonsense that one encounters occurs in twentieth century life <hes> politically financially or professionally wasn't any different it has always been worse but that sadness was stunning to me and then i was sitting on a subway going to work in manhattan and i got a tiny sliver of an idea about a book and the world broke open. The sky was blue. People were wonderful or not but who cared everything was working because now i am engaged aged imaginatively an icon do the extraordinary thing with two which is to to create something out of nothing whole off so that's when i began to write a second book nate which is called a solo so now i know i think i know what makes me what drives me. What's the use of the compulsion how to figure out where i need to be what i need to know to make it better after the next time <hes> what i need to know in order to not repeat myself you know i never wanted wanted to be that author that it's to that place that high place where they're recognized their talent is overwhelming overwhelming and their loved and so they stay right there with what works and i still felt that i wanted to be you each time and to set the bar in language and imagination nation higher for myself each time so that each book was a different world for me. I am not interested to really in my life. I mean i'm sort of interested in it because it's mind but i mean as a <hes> <hes> <hes> source for narrative. It's not interesting to me just as other people's lives and not terribly interesting to me. Other people's people's real lives because there's no place for me to invent or create. I looked at another person matt how fascinating they are doc. I think we'll there that's done. They've already written that story and they're the consequences when i've got to a book that <hes> was i guess one fifth book i wrote. Maybe not sure <hes>. I had another idea about the relationship between a mothers and children. I had been aware of the pressure. This is in the early eighties. The pressure turn the debate. The constant arguments still going on by the way about the legitimacy of abortion a pro-life pro-choice et cetera except i don't think that was the language then but very much just around roe versus wade the notion that women felt or some women felt that their freedom to own their buddies was not to be challenged and that they could choose whether or not not to have a child that they implied that the necessity of having them was is a kind of imprisonment a requirement that they had no control over and lead them into terrible decisions those women equated maternity with destiny and they wanted to change it and they felt that the choice to change it was a huge measure of liberation when i was thinking about that not having being required to have children as sign of freedom agem and i thought about the reverse which was in a particular situation when having children was a sign of freedom and that would only be most theatrical is in the story about a slave mother who legally had no responsibility over her children they could be taken from her at birth or anytime they were not hers although she he was required and certainly encouraged to reproduce because if he produce you make another slave she was forbidden to control those children so standing up for ownership or control or having responsibility for one's own child was for her not just illegal is outrageous statement of liberation so that became the idea for the book call beloved and my reluctance to enter into that sort of period whatever period it might be of all those three hundred years was overcome by the compulsion to develop this idea and i use news a historical figure that i didn't do any really research on disfigured out from newspaper clippings who she was and what the response response was because i wanted to invent her life for her her interior line so i i did not try to make it historically accurate accepted the most obvious ways but when it was useful for the narrative i made extraordinary extraordinary changes that way i could use a historical figure at the same time exploit not only her life what little i knew of a thin but also exploit my own adventure my own creation my home compulsion to tell the story of a hundred and some years ago that i thought at the time had enormous pertinence on the contemporary tony morrison speaking in two thousand seven at the academy of achievements movements international summit in washington d._c. And as promised at the beginning of this episode we turn now to another towering figure in american working culture who we lost this summer how prince he was born in nineteen twenty eight how was short for harold but he earned a more clever ever nicknamed later in life. The prince of broadway there is much you could say to introduce halprin's but the best shorthand really is to read the off a list of the broadway shows he produced or directed or both. This is a partial list mind. You here goes in order. Starting in nineteen eighteen fifty five the pajama game damn yankees west side story new girl in town. A funny thing happened on the way to the forum fiddler on the roof cabaret. Zorba company follies a little night music candied the visit pacific overtures side by side by sondheim sweeney todd evita kiss of the spider woman the phantom of the opera showboat the revival parade the revival and love music. The list seemed so implausible. I triple check to make sure was true. It is so without further ado how prince who came onto speak right after tony morrison into thousand seven. Thank you the following. Tony's i almost ran for cover. We're all friends and she's so i offer. I wanted to start with something hopefully that maybe no one else's addressed and if they don't tell me and and that is luck how much does luck factor in your achieving life you want. I think enormously and i think it has to be acknowledged by those of us. Who've been lucky enough to have the lies. We have but you have to uh redefine. Look very carefully because luck can be that you knew what you wanted to do. When you were eight years old and i'm one of those people somebody took me to a theatre saw orson welles in a modern dress julius caesar the mercury theatre why your parents take an eight year old to that. I'm not sure but i will always be grateful. That's luck so luck is knowing what you wanna do with what it is you have bad luck is luck really luck tuck and that no one ever puts into the definition of luck but i was a kid i was privileged kid from an upper middle-class family the as you know they took me to inappropriate plays at eight and content and continued they took me to see the life of oscar wilde at nine with with robert morley figure that but in addition i very solitary knowing what i wanted to i do very early on i had a stage and i would listen to the met opera on saturday afternoons and milton the cross would tell the story of the opera and then he would say the great gold curtain is rising on and i heard the story of the first act and then i have set the stage and then i would start to move people around in accordance with the story he told of course i didn't speak the language they were singing so more often the not i was finished with the first act and they were still singing or the great curtain fell and i was about a third through the story that he had told but i you know so the fixation was was part of it but also part of it was psychological. I was a loner by choice. I think i've perhaps of dramatized at a little certainly my my wife and my mother who's no longer here would say i think he's making much more out of that than he should've but the truth is i did. I enjoyed the company of fantasies and fantasy people far more then real people. I enjoyed my life in the theater as i constructed it from the age of about twelve on and all the people i knew who i didn't know but who twenty years later i or ten years later i actually got to know and work with and at one point and this this i said on sixty minutes interview some years ago and and so you know i'd put it out there. I had a nervous breakdown when i was about fourteen and it was over a very torpid torpid summer in new york blisteringly hot and they're no air conditioning and i just i was silent and hard to reach and i went to my parents. I said i think i need some help and they said it's called puberty. Get over it and that kind of family. You know what i mean. They had no place for that sort of thing so i got over it and and and what i'm really getting at here is and when i came out of the other end of it which was from four to five months later i was a different human being i was was much more focused than i had been before and and a really have bishops and i had a plan and all of that came out of that end of things and then i found myself in college two years later at sixteen and there there was a master plan going on and i was aware of it so i have to think luck in that then there's one more thing i want to say and that is i got a job bob. Luckily because i wrote a letter i i didn't know how you interview for jobs. So instead. I wrote a letter to this man named george abbott it was a big the biggest producer director writer in the broadway theatre and in the letter i said look. I just got out of college college and i don't. I can't for the life of me. Figure out what i would do could do that would earn a penny so give me a job. Let me work for nothing and here's the hook and if you can figure out after six months that you're not that you're not paying being me by the nature of the work i'm doing. I beg you to fire me well. That's a pretty crazy letter and he hired me at no salary. He never seen a letter like it before and i told the story cincinnati now get the letter about twice a year from somewhere or other at early on in his office and this is the other piece of luck. The korean war started hearted and is the first person drafted from manhattan into that war because i'd missed world war two and that's the biggest piece of luck and so you see how you have to redefine look that's luck because i was very as i said ambitious <hes> bishops fellow and i think i dislocated the air around me. I think the energy made people extremely family nervous and and suddenly i got drafted and i had to go away for two years to fort bliss texas a to camp out of berry indiana and basically i wasn't getting my own way and my course had been stopped. I stopped and i wasn't a bit sure i'd get back on course and when i came back i was a different person again yet again because i knew it isn't isn't all in your power so i wanted. I wanted to touch on on the whole area of luck and i wanted to tell you in closing how i personally dealt with the fact that i knew how abrasive my too much energy not too much focus too much ambition was that i had a desk pad diary on on my desk in abbott's office and at the top of every page for about five years i wrote doc the two words watch it an exclamation point and when i come in in the morning i'd look at the pad and it was my reminder to behave myself. There are other people around calmed down and and and don't be abrasive suv and it worked. I'm here and and i thought i thought i what do i wanna say to all these people that maybe they haven't heard and that is honor. The whole idea of luck. Luck is a factor in in your life. Only why didn't your definition of what luck is just want to read you a little something which is separate and apart but i'm obsessed assessed with it. I gave the graduation speech at gettysburg couple of weeks ago and this is just a small paragraph from it. It says i've been around a long time almost four score without the seven added. I had my first paying enjoy sixty years ago. At that time i met composers lyricists and playwrights with whom i would work for the body of my life and the atmosphere in our society he was so generous so welcoming that i also met and grew to know most of the great established writers composers and directors in the theater later they seemed curious about what i wanted to do with my life and they asked questions and they listened to my replies i. I've always believed that they were so forthcoming. Not only because manners in those days were held in high regard because there were so many any of them working consistently and simultaneously the arts were flourishing. It was no t._v. Then and little until ah fifties we wrote letters than long letters and instead of channel surfing. We read veraciously. We were ambitious dishes to create making money was not the object. It was ancillary as the years go on. We got older. Some of us got married and had children and making money acquired a new urgency but it never was was it never has become paramount for being an artist accepted by artists. Perhaps appreciated needed for some impact on the quality of life in our country beyond our country on our globe was the goal and honestly that's no. I feel and i would give anything for a more substantial whole view of a return to those values. How prince who died on july thirty first just two thousand nineteen less than a week before his friend tony morrison he was ninety one. She was eighty eight. We hope their lives and work and the talks. You heard today leave. You feeling inspired. I'm alice winkler and this is what it takes from the academy of achievement what it takes his funded generously by the catherine b reynolds foundation. Thanks to them and thanks to you as always for listening.
Episode 91: How Oprah gets it done
"Dan, on here. We now know Oprah Winfrey's past method for tracking down the late Tony Morrison. lgbtq plus activists billy Lee is pulling back the curtain about her vendor pump rules, experience and push teeth. New Baby has very fitting name coming up next on we here. Oh my God. Divorce slashed across tapes. Page six whatever field. Hey there ninety. And and more woke me here. Six podcast and we hear all the celebrity dirt parts through some sources, and you hear the story behind the story, and this first story doesn't only have dirt. It's got smoke and where there's smoke, there's fire and we're. There's fire. There's a helpful fire department. That's right. Page six is reporting that when Oprah Winfrey wanted to produce a film adaptation of the Nobel Laureate Author Toni, Morrison's Book Beloved. She didn't have. Toni. Morrison's number so the way that she tracked her down was by calling Toni Morrison's local fire department. Oprah would probably be a great reporter. This is a very smart, so we learn this through to Shara Jones's item in which she interviewed the director of the American Masters episode on Oprah Timothy. Greenfield sanders he really spill the beans on her investigative reporter. He also said that the best part of all of this was that when Oprah finally got in touch with Tony. She answered the phone and her initial. Initial reaction was not excitement. She asked Oprah. How did you get my number? Which I love when I saw this, I was like wait a minute. This doesn't make any sense. Because why would oprah have to resort to the Fire Department again Toni Morrison's number, but then I forgot that beloved was actually published in Nineteen, eighty seven, and it was made into a film in the late nineties but I mean. This was like pre pre kind of just Internet I guess right or pre sounds like the phone book days I guess Tony Morrison was unlisted in the phone book in the yellow pages to the white pages. Don't all of your. The yellow pages as I, think the yellow pages was for businesses like if you were living. were. You would wanNA name your locksmith like triple a locksmith so that you're the first locksmith under locksmiths than the white pages was where you would find like actual people's. Like residential listings although Tony Morrison seems like she might have an unlisted number, but it's also interesting. That was call her publisher like you know the the. Oprah wouldn't be able to just call her her book publisher her agent, but it's like she needed to get straight to the source. I know it's a pretty smart way of doing it and also my question here is like. Oprah. Has the oprah voice you know when she had the Oprah Winfrey show, it was always like she was saying people's names, and her kind of interesting crescendo, sounding voice like when she called the Fire Department, was she just like? Hey, it's oprah or was she like an Oprah? If someone called you into this is do you have someone's number? Would you be like oh? Hey, hopes, or would you be like prove your Oprah. Well. I think it might have been just a more innocent. Time, I mean Oprah has a pretty recognizable voice. I. Don't know maybe the fire department I mean. You know I guess unless there's a fire you're at the firehouse in. You're probably like watching a lot of oprah. I mean an. Lot of daytime TV. Yes, really on. Mound. One when the Oprah Winfrey show was on I, had television on my desk back in the day when I was working. At AOL that's America Online I had it on all day, and I watched Oprah at four PM. I was my gym. Yeah, so the Director Timothy Greenfield Sanders. WHO'S PRETTY? Well known documentarian He says that this Oprah interview that he did for his Tony Morrison. American Masters episode, is really one of the highlights of the film and he says that We waited for a year to do the interview and I'm happy we did, so. They waited a whole year. I guess they didn't call Oprah's local fire department. I actually. The thing I love about this is that. See We. These days if you WANNA, get in touch with. A celebrity. They're a bunch of services that you can subscribe to write like imdb pro. Every service and I think there's other ones where basically if you subscribe you can, you can look up, you know it has most notable people in a database and it just lists. Their PR people their. Lawyer. Agent Manager, etc and I think though a obviously at one time it was much. Of A mystery of how to get in touch with people and I I love this story is so old school and I remember at the at the Post. I once had a store do Elaine stritch is. Yes of course. The sort of famous feeder. Performer actress. One time I was at the. was in the news room and I I had an item on Elaine Stritch I. Think she'd like I don't know she did something like wild party. Just salaries like an more item. Goes Nuts party and. Touch with her, and I looked up on one of these services that we have to look at people's wraps, and like a lot of times deal with the same people. Actually one thing that's cool is at page six. We have from the days before these kind of IMDB pro things existed before the Internet. We do have a giant ROLODEX. That has all these old school numbers. Numbers, and it's really cool to look through it, and it'll have like you know like Henry Kissinger and then it's like, but it doesn't even have the the area code of the number like you know. It's like when you before you dial two one to. Even if you were in New Yorker like new. York didn't have multiple area codes and people didn't have cell phones. You know what I'm GonNa. Look up and see if Toni Morrison's numbers in that Rolodex, but any event Elaine stritch is not listed in any of these internet kind of database things. I'm in the newsroom, and I'm like I need to touch with Elaine. Stritch, like what am I going to do, and somebody in the newsroom goes well. You know I think. She still lives at the Carlisle. Show is used to live at the Carlyle Hotel. So I'm like okay so I. Call the Carlisle The answer at the front desk and I'm like Elaine. stritch police like hold one moment, please. Ding, Ding, and then she just picks up the phone. How and it was like Shit. And I just all their up and I got her comment and. About the story and I was like this is amazing. Because I felt like a real old school like gossip columnists were like this is the way it used to work. You would just call the person. At home at the hotel the. No, so that's. Apparently. I'll call them ring. Exactly that's an old oprah trick. It's like. When you can find the persons number, just call their local fire department. Have you heard of wild Alaskan company, it's a monthly seafood membership. Great idea right I just got my first wild Combo box and let me tell you how excited I was. Each high quality piece came individually wrapped, which is Great I. Mean I live by myself? So it's already portioned out. I need fish tacos. I put it in Salads I made all kinds of salmon pollock. The list goes on some of the best seafood I've had it is so easy to. To prepare healthy and delicious and wild, Alaskan company only promotes sustainable seafood very important. It's super easy to order. Just go to wild Alaskan company. Dot Com there you can pick from three monthly boxes. You can change your preference, or you can cancel anytime plus we hear listeners get twenty five dollars off your first time order. Just enter Promo Code. We here at checkout. That's wild, Alaskan, company, DOT COM and enter we here at checkout to save twenty five dollars. We are learning so much about what is actually going on behind. The scenes engender pump rules after Stasi Schroeder and Kristen Dowdy were fired. More cast members are coming out and talking about their time on the show. Chelsea Hirsch page six DOT. com did a great view billy Lee this week. Who said that appearing on bander pump left up in a deep depression. Yeah, this thing is just totally unraveling Maggie and. As everybody knows you and I are big fans are were were warmer warmer, big fans of the banter pump role, but I just want to say as a disclaimer, even if you don't watch of Interpol's, you'll still be interested in this story I think. And why is that man? He wanted you tell the listeners. So Billy Alma you tell listeners. So billy was on bender pump roles in season six. She made her first appearance on the show, and she gave a powerful speech about being a transgender woman as service celebrating Pride Lisa Vander pump, and her restaurants always go all out for pride in Los. Angeles Ray every. He's a big pride, episode, right and Billy. Lee is a transgender woman who was. Working as a hostess said Sir, but was kind of in the background is not even a second banana, but like a third or fourth or fifth banana. And then she had a triumphant speech as you said then, then she then she became a main character on the show, right? Yes, she was on the show season six, which was twenty, seventeen to twenty, eight eighteen, and then again in season seven, and she was fired from the show at the end of season seven, which wrapped in two thousand nineteen, so she told Chelsea that while she doesn't regret going on vendor pump rules. She's kind of unveiled this whole system of how things work, and how these quote Unquote restaurant employees are paid, so she said they have a system on how they pay their newcomers, and it starts out at a low scale, but even during the show behind the scenes I was struggling to pay my bills, but I couldn't tell anyone because here I am famous and Amish show as a trans activist I'm supposed to represent the certain thing. Yeah I think through. These reality shows in particular. You look at vendor pump. It's those two foll-. Follow waiters, and waitresses and bartenders at a restaurant so obviously if you sign these people too big contracts, and you pay them a lot of money off the Bat and your Bravo than the reality is gone immediately because the whole point is that they're supposed to be waiters, waitresses living in shitty apartments in arguing alley, but then obviously is the show went on. You know these people the stars of the show. They start to make money on their own. Like we saw with some of the stars of inner pump roles where they get a book deal. They have their wine brand. You know they have their podcast. There influencers there on social media, so it's. I think it's a challenge for these networks to keep. The reality shows real and one of the ways that you can do that in my mind at least is not pay them a lot of money, so they can start living a lifestyle that's not in line with what the show is following, but the thing about billy Lee was that she said that, or she told paid six that I had some of the hardest times. Times with that show, and a lot of my mental health took its toll. I slipped into a really bad depression, and when the suicidal thoughts came in, that's when I knew I had to really like. Check my mental health and get back into order and disconnect myself from the whole vendor pump stuff. Apparently, some of that stuff started with Jack's Taylor. She told us her first uncomfortable counter. Having the show was an instant Jack's. Really. Yes. She said that Jackson a lot of people were very kind to her when she first met them. During that pride celebration, she gave the speech. She claims that after they were introduced, he was quote almost coming onto her. When the cameras were off later that day, he told me a story about how he hung out with a girl, and kissed her, and found out she was dude, grossed out, and made clear that he's not into that, and so for me I was very like her coming onto me in front of the camera, but also camera. Clear that being trans is gross, and you're not down for that. She said she tried to correct him, but he seemed annoyed by it. He wasn't having it and she said he didn't want her around now. Jacks couldn't be reached for comment. It's interesting, because now there's this whole controversy with the entercom rules or a controversy. It's just. A total disaster where Stacey showed Kristen doughty were fired from the show for bullying The shows only black cast member ever faith, and if you look back at when billy was on the show, she also got into a lot of right. There was a lot of drama between billy and the other cast members right, and she was constantly in these arguments with them, but there was also an intern on the show. Remember where she accused the other cast members. Members of discriminating against her, because and this is getting a little deep into it, but there was a girls night that a bunch of the waitresses were hosting. It was called ladies night in. It was called girls night in girls night in see that shows how classy I am. Maggie I. Take it up a notch. Ladies night in. That'll be what I would call it, but it was right gateway for you. Takeover Sir and be the events letter embiid. Anyway going off the rails so. That is really I guess these original pass members like when I think of Andhra. Pump rules do I think I, think about stop and Jackson those early seasons where they were this couple, and he cheated on her Vegas and how far they've come, but it's been almost like they've been untouchable because they were really. The signature faces of the franchise, and now you have face, and you have billy who, between that were only on the show for one and two seasons coming. Coming in and shaking things up. Saying this is not how it should be totally, and the thing is with these reality shows at least with our pump rules. It's really funny, is that when people leave the show? It's not lake. It's announced on the show where there's any farewell. We just never see them again. The one trans cast member and the one black person who's ever been on the show. They just literally disappeared and were never mentioned again, and they were they. They were big. These weren't people who were sort of even on the periphery I mean during their seasons. Both faith and billy were involved in like very big plot lines of the show, and then all of a sudden, the show starts again the next year, and they're like Oh these people don't exist anymore. They don't work at the restaurant anymore, and they're just not on the show anymore. With no explanation, they really show how perspectives are changing because I think back when. When billy she did complain on the show about some of the cast members, being sort of transphobic or discriminated against her, and the rest of the cast, really ganged up on her right, and they were like she's ridiculous, and they think they just like shut her down, and then she was just off the show, so it really does show how you know. Outside perspectives were sort of just shouted down, and like bleed off the show by the other cast members and. It's it's pretty. It's it's pretty. Now that it's all coming out, you know like this is not a time to be just shutting your brain off and watching a bunch of idiots who are basically like bullying other people and making a really good living the show. And that's why I just think I. Just Never Really Watch this show again in feeling that a lot of other viewers feel the same way. Pusher T is a dad earlier this week. The free three year old rapper announced on instagram that White Virginia Williams had given birth to the couple's first child Nigel bricks for. The Internet had plenty to say about this little guy's name. I love the name, but I guess the bricks part. People see somewhat controversial. I mean pushed T. Now a solo artist I believe he's the president of good music, which is a label with Kanye West. was formerly a member of the clips new. Remember the clips in pushy t and rather who was. Then called lawless alcohol's no malice which I love. No clips were awesome, but it was also they were at the time. Were they sort of Hurrell William? They were produced by Ferrelli Williams's time and anyway. The News Parolin Chad Syria. They wrapped a lot about selling drugs. And what's one form that drugs come in bricks? A brick of cocaine. Brick of other drugs that covered. Vincent Yeah I get so the thing about. It is I think though this name is. It's like borne into the Music Business Nigel Brixworth. Nath sounds like an amazing record producer. Just like up their warlike legendary producers like baby face. and Jimmy GM. You know like Nigel, Briggs Thornton. It's so great because it's like such a proper name, but then it has like the edgy little middle name. In there. Because it's also you want to be because that's the thing is like if you want to be successful in the music business. You have to have that. Do of and we're like. You have the name like it's like in the same way that diddy. Is sometimes like when he needs to get serious or like. He produces something serious. He's Shaun calm. So it's like. And you kinda screw yourself with that. Like did he kind of? It took him a while to like because he was so adamant like with like he was puff, Daddy and P. Diddy and he was changing his name every five seconds. But then he was like no but I'm sean combs and it took a while for people to get used to that so I think it's great to have like Nigel Breaks Thornton because it's like you want to have duality where you can use. You can use bricks when you like drop that crazy jam, but then when you need to when you can Academy Award Wannabe Nigel Thornton when you get that like e got so I think he's setting him up. You Know Supreme Court. Justice, you know what I mean, you could go either way with this name. If you're in the music business, your bricks otherwise supreme court. Justice Nigel Thorton. Problem I. G. Wide. You'll be thornton. That's the fashion wine, Nigel. Love can't thought he'd set him up with a great name. The great and good job pressure to I think it's important to point out that push. A T was who? Put Drake's baby on blast. Remember Push Tia's who reveal that drake had had that baby honest. With I believe her name is Sophie. And now push the first time. Dad so I wonder how things are GonNa go drake and a star rapping about a teason. Oh God that would be ugly. I don't think this is the time for that, but maybe it was a pretty deep feud Yeah, everything about the name I have to say to her that bricks it's like it could go either way because it's like yeah to drug reference, but it's also a word that least means things. Although in this case, the spelling we should mention is B. R. I. Double Ax. You know it's not like he named him Nigel Yay Yo. You Know Thorton or something like that. It's also by the way I'm I'm impressed. Push T, y think he is a great rapper. And as I mentioned I love clips like push a t not best rap name of all time, not that great, so the fact. He pulled out Nigel bricks. You know what I'm saying T. I'm your pusher. I'm selling drugs. His first name is Karen Hughes. Currency was pushing out. I just I. Just somewhat like limiting. It's like you're you're. Not. I don't know. Do Tea's like a rob or a of snort. He's brick layer in ball shorts. He's sticking to the theme. Right, yeah, he is sticking to the theme. That's true, but it's hard like if you're like you know what now, I'm ready to make my folk album. You're like Oh gosh. Well, that's it for this episode of We'd hear our show is produced by Jamila Williams Melissa. Push. We would love to your suggestions. Your favorite butcher t songs. If you've noticed more drug related puns, you send them to me. You can email us at podcast. POSTS DOT COM to hear the latest episode Caserta hit. Subscribe on Apple podcasts modify or any of your preferred cast platform and don't leave us a review I'm sure after this episode you will be eager to. We will be back next week with more paid six. See that.