Book club discusses works of Toni Morrison

GW students discussed black society in the 20th century and the works of author Toni Morrison Wednesday night at Delta Sigma Theta’s book club meeting.

Delta Sigma Theta invited Dr. Marilyn Mobley McKenzie, president of the Toni Morrison Society, to help kick off the sorority’s first book club meeting of the year. She read from Nobel laureate Toni Morrison’s first novel, The Bluest Eye.

McKenzie discussed the author’s method of capturing “the notion of beauty both then and in our community today” with about 30 students.

The discussion focused on Morrison’s novel and expanded to various topics, including ideas of community responsibility and identity for a young black woman.

After the discussion Mandisa Turner, a sister who helped organize the event, spoke about the book club. Turner said this is the sorority’s second year having a book club, and Delta Sigma Theta is the only organization on campus to run this type of event.

“We hope to promote extracurricular reading, especially on African- American female authors,” Turner said. “We’re also very excited about the fact that sometime this semester we will be co-sponsoring a book club meeting with the Association of Caribbean Students on a book by a Caribbean female author.”

Turner said her organization is looking at the possibility of working with other D.C. book clubs to bring more authors to the discussions.

McKenzie has authored a book on Toni Morrison entitled Folk Roots and Mythic Wings in Sara Orne Jewett and Toni Morrison: The Cultural Function of the Narrative.

McKenzie said she hopes to publish a second book, Spaces for the Reader: Toni Morrison, Black Studies, and the Praxis of Cultural Studies. She is an associate professor of English and a founder of the African- American studies program at George Mason University, where she teaches both graduate and undergraduate classes on Toni Morrison.

McKenzie received a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in support of her scholarship on Toni Morrison and is a member of the Golden Key Honor Society and Delta Sigma Theta.

“When I found out that Delta Sigma Theta wanted me to speak, I knew I had to come,” McKenzie said.

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