Troy Posted July 27, 2012 Report Share Posted July 27, 2012 [beloved's] failure to win the National Book Award sparked a protest by 48 black writers and critics, who signed a statement published in The New York Times Book Review lamenting the fact that Ms. Morrison had been overlooked for the award and had not yet received a Pulitzer Prize. Shortly afterward, Ms. Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize for "Beloved." In a 2006 New York Times survey of prominent writers, "Beloved" was chosen the best work of American fiction of the previous 25 years. Read full article from the NY Times June Jordan Houston A. Baker Jr. STATEMENT Despite the international stature of Toni Morrison, she has yet to receive the national recognition that her five major works of fiction entirely deserve: she has yet to receive the keystone honors of the National Book Award or the Pulitzer Prize. We, the undersigned black critics and black writers, here assert ourselves against such oversight and harmful whimsy. The legitimate need for our own critical voice in relation to our own literature can no longer be denied. We, therefore, urgently affirm our rightful and positive authority in the realm of American letters and, in this prideful context, we do raise this tribute to the author of ''The Bluest Eye,'' ''Sula,'' ''Song of Solomon,'' ''Tar Baby'' and ''Beloved'': Alive, we write this testament of thanks to you, dear Toni: alive, beloved and persevering, magical. Among the fecund intimacies of our hidden past, and among the coming days of dream or nightmares that will follow from the bidden knowledge of our conscious heart, we find your life work ever building to a monument of vision and discovery and trust. You have never turned away the searching eye, the listening ear attuned to horror or to histories providing for our faith. And freely you have given to us every word that you have found important to the forward movement of our literature, our life. For all of America, for all of American letters, you have advanced the moral and artistic standards by which we must measure the daring and the love of our national imagination and our collective intelligence as a people. Your gifts to us have changed and made more gentle our real time together. And so we write, here, hoping not to delay, not to arrive, in any way, late with this, our simple tribute to the seismic character and beauty of your writing. And, furthermore, in grateful wonder at the advent of ''Beloved,'' your most recent gift to our community, our country, our conscience, our courage flourishing as it grows, we here record our pride, our respect and our appreciation for the treasury of your findings and invention. Robert Allen, Maya Angelou, Houston A. Baker Jr., Toni Cade Bambara, Amina Baraka, Amiri Baraka, Jerome Brooks, Wesley Brown, Robert Chrisman, Barbara Christian, Lucille Clifton, J. California Cooper, Jayne Cortez, Angela Davis, Thulani Davis, Alexis De Veaux. Mari Evans, Nikky Finney, Ernest J. Gaines, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Paula Giddings, Vertamae Grosvenor, Cheryll Y. Greene, Rosa Guy, Calvin Hernton, Nathan Irvin Huggins, Gloria T. Hull, Gale Jackson, June Jordan, Paule Marshall, Nellie McKay, Louise Meriwether. Louise Patterson, Richard Perry, Arnold Rampersad, Eugene Redmond, Sonia Sanchez, Hortense Spillers, Luisah Teish, Joyce Carol Thomas, Eleanor Traylor, Quincy Troupe, Alice Walker, Mary Helen Washington, John Wideman, Margaret Wilkerson, John A. Williams, Sherley Anne Williams.- Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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