GW to honor Toni Morrison, literary group will donate memorial bench

The Toni Morrison Society will place a memorial bench dedicated to the Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author in front of Lisner Auditorium during her Sept. 21 visit to GW.

Morrison is slated to speak at Lisner that evening. The memorial is a facet of the society’s broader Bench by the Road Project, aimed at marking significant sites in African American history – the auditorium is one of the first District venues to integrate in 1947.

University spokeswoman Michelle Sherrard said further information about Morrison’s visit will be released in the fall.

The bench project’s name is derived from Morrison herself. In 1989, she told World Magazine her book titled “Beloved” would serve as a symbol to remember those who were enslaved, rather than having a physical marker.

“There is no suitable memorial, or plaque, or wreath, or wall, or park, or skyscraper lobby,” Morrison said. “There’s no 300-foot tower, there’s no small bench by the road.”

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