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Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am - Official Trailer

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am
Introduced by Angelita Reyes

Date(s): Various screenings through Thursday, September 5.
FilmBar, 821 N 2nd St, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Film Screening
Genre and Form(s): 
Cost: $9.95

About this Event

Join the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing for a screening of the documentary, Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am at FilmBar (812 N 2nd St, Phoenix, AZ 85004) on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, August 27, 6:00 p.m **sold out**
  • Friday, August 30, 5:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 31, 5:30 p.m. **sold out**
  • Sunday, September 1, 6:30 p.m.
  • Monday, September 2, 6:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, September 3, 8:10 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 5, 8:10 p.m.

The August 27th screening will be introduced with a tribute to Toni Morrison by Angelita Reyes, Professor Emerita of English and African and African American Studies at Arizona State University. Guests are also invited to join an informal conversation and Q&A in the lounge after the screening.

About the Film

After a stint as an editor early in her career, American writer Toni Morrison understood the publishing industry better than the ordinary writer—but she refused to be defined by the establishment. She wrote her books from a vital, underrepresented point of view. Morrison was one of the few who wrote for an African American audience, and she understood the way language could operate as an oppressive or uplifting force—she refused to let her words be marginalized. After years of fighting to be heard, Morrison was awarded a Nobel Prize for her writing, and her novels are now taught in schools around the world.

Through a trove of archival material, evocative works of contemporary art, and interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Angela Davis, and Morrison herself, we revisit her famed books and learn about the inspiration for her writing. Throughout, Morrison is effortlessly graceful, insightful, and candid, making this intimate, comprehensive portrait of her life and works an exploration of what it means to be a writer whose stories are so deeply intertwined with often-unrealized national truths.

About the Speaker

Photograph of Angelita Reyes

Angelita Reyes is a professor in the School of Social Transformation and the Department of English at Arizona State University. An award-winning author, scholar-teacher, and consultant, Reyes is a distinct voice in today's national and global arena of new approaches for social and organizational transformation. Reyes is an affiliate faculty member of women and gender studies and the School for International Letters and Cultures. She is also a Barrett College Honors professor.

Reyes is the author of "Mothering ACROSS Cultures: Postcolonial Representations" (2002) which received the Choice Outstanding Academic Title in Language and Literature and nominated for the Modern Language Association's William Sanders Scarborough Prize (2003). She has two edited books on African literature and she has numerous articles in national and international journals. Reyes was a faculty curator of the multi-media exhibition, Dynamic Journey: Transformations of Slavery-Era Spaces, Routes and Sounds (2007). The exhibition was sponsored by the ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts Collaborative Research and Creativity Grant. 

Reyes has keynoted and presented at seminars and conferences in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and Africa. In 2007, she was invited to Kazakhstan, Central Asia, by the U.S. Department of State to establish lectures on ethnicity and African American cultures in the United States.

Her current work on vernacular architecture and material culture established the naming of a standing pre-Civil War slave cabin in southern Virginia to the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia National Register. In 2015, Reyes implemented a team research grant awarded by the Carnegie Humanities Investment Fund grant for the historic preservation site. The site subsequently was awarded the prestigious Virginia historical highway marker.

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