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Toni MorrisonMemory and Meaning$
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Adrienne Lanier Seward and Justine Tally

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781628460193

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2015

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628460193.001.0001

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To Make a Humanist Black

To Make a Humanist Black

Toni Wofford’s Howard Years

(p.42) To Make a Humanist Black
Toni Morrison

Dana A. Williams

University Press of Mississippi

Acknowledging editors as “curators of culture,” this essay exams Morrison’s editorship and facilitates the unraveling of the crucial, intently politicized elements of black intellectual and cultural history during the Civil Rights Movement in the1960s and 70s. Unearthing Toni Wofford’s years at Howard University and as a member of the Howard Play reveals the formative development of an aesthetic sensibility and its corresponding influence on her role as editor and her awareness of the ways in which culture can be (re)presented with variation. What might she have learned as a member of the Howard Players? How might Owen Dodson’s revision of Shakespeare to make it modern and his insistence that his actors offer fresh, new interpretations of traditional texts and dialogue have influenced Morrison’s willingness and ability to envision and see the value of revisions of traditional mythologies and humanities themes? (140 words)

Keywords:   Morrison as editor, Howard University, Howard Players, Black Arts Movement, Civil Rights Movement

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