Monday, February 18, 2019
Toni Morrison and Black Book History
Toni Morrison turns 88 today. Her book The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations was released last week. Her works remain a fixture on college syllabi. She is our most critically acclaimed novelist.
She was an editor for several books, including works by Gayl Jones, Toni Cade Bambara, Angela Davis, Lucillie Clifton, and on and on and on. She edited The Black Book. She's served as the basis for dozens of scholarly books and book chapters.
The many editions of her books mean we have multiple book designs to consider. A couple of years ago, folks at Literary Hub displayed 75 different covers of Morrison's Beloved (1987). When I was making the case for 1969 - 1994, as the greatest years in black women's writing, I was no doubt giving considerable weight to Morrison's contributions.
I've been working to formulate a few pointed reasons for why we need to take Black Book History more seriously in our studies of African American literature. I'm sure that a close look at the production and reception of Morrison's books will assist me in solidifying my ideas.
• Black Book History, February 2019