Tuesday, 18 February 2014

saying happy birthday to Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison.  Born 18/2/1931
Pic from here
When accepting an award for her book, Beloved, in 1988, Toni Morrison (whose 83rd birthday is today - 18th February 2014) said that she'd written it because there was 'no suitable memorial' to America's African slaves.  

She said:
"...there is no suitable memorial or plaque or wreath or wall or park or skyscraper lobby...There's no small bench by the road...and because such a place doesn't exist, the book had to."
This remark inspired the Toni Morrison Society to start placing benches at important sites for American slavery.  Their first was placed in July 2008 at Sullivan's Island, South Carolina - where around 40% of the Africans enslaved in America arrived.  In placing the benches the Society aims to create an outdoor Museum of Slavery, both in American and abroad.  Around 10 benches have already been placed, with another 10 planned.

It made me think about slavery in Britain.  I'm not talking about modern-day slavery here, although it's as big a problem as it's ever been, but rather remembering the people who came from Africa into slavery in Britain, when slavery was allowed, or indeed, who were sold on from here.  Where would we put our benches?  Liverpool docks?  What do you think?

Happy birthday Toni Morrison, thank you for being always inspirational.

Other posts you might like:
The book challenge
Words at 18/2/14 - 56,350 (up 3,697 since challenge began)
Where I'm at in First Draft - middle of Chapter 10.
What I did last - scene with my hero and his best mate.