James Weldon Johnson Memorial Lecture: “In This Place: Space, Meaning and Possibility in the Writings of Toni Morrison”

October 19, 2015

Thursday, October 29, 4:00 pm, SML Lecture Hall

The James Weldon Johnson Memorial Lecture celebrates American poet, novelist, and civil rights leader James Weldon Johnson, namesake of the collection of African American arts and letters at the Beinecke Library. Farah Jasmine Griffin (Ph.D.’92) is William B. Ransford Professor of English and Comparative Literature and African-American Studies at Columbia University. Her most recent book, Harlem Nocturne, tells the stories of three World War II-era African American women artists who fought for change on the home front.
Professor Griffin's interests include American and African American literature, music, history and politics. The recipient of numerous honors and awards for her teaching and scholarship, in 2006-2007 Professor Griffin was a fellow at the New York Public Library Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. She is the author of Who Set You Flowin’: The African American Migration Narrative (Oxford, 1995), If You Can’t Be Free, Be a Mystery: In Search of Billie Holiday (Free Press, 2001) and Clawing At the Limits of Cool: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and the Greatest Jazz Collaboration Ever (Thomas Dunne, 2008).

This presentation is sponsored by The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library and the Department of African American Studies at Yale.