20 Apr BABEL: Toni Morrison
Kleinhans Music Hall
3 Symphony Circle
Buffalo, NY 14201
Date: Thursday, November 9, 2017
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Patron VIP Reception: 7:00 p.m.
About the Author
Buffalo is now in the midst of a rebirth that some would say is bringing this rust belt city back from the ashes. And yet, as one of the most segregated cities in America, we still have a long road ahead. Let’s grapple with that.
Fifty years ago, Dr. King dared to imagine a future free of segregation. Now, let us come together to be inspired by Toni Morrison’s wisdom as we imagine the next fifty years.
(Photograph of Toni Morrison courtesy Timothy Greenfield-Sanders)
About the Book
Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.
Consider the extent to which slavery dehumanizes individuals by stripping them of their identity, destroying their ability to conceive of the self. Consider, especially, Paul and how he can’t determine whether screams he hears are his or someone else’s. How do the other characters reflect self-alienation?2. Discuss the different roles of the community in betraying and protecting the house at 124. What larger issue might Morrison be suggesting here about community. 3. What does Beloved’s appearance represent? What about her behavior? Why does she finally disappear—what drives her departure? And why is the book’s title named for her? 4. Talk about the choice Sethe made regarding her children when schoolteacher arrives to take them all back to Sweet Home. Can her actions be justified—are her actions rational or irrational? 5. What does the narrator mean by the warning at the end: this is not a story to pass on.” Is he right…or not?
Buy 2017–2018 Season Tickets
Season Subscription tickets are good for all four of the BABEL events at Kleinhans for the 2017–2018 season. VIP Patron Tickets include preferred seating and access to a pre-event catered reception at Kleinhans, attended by the author of the evening. After each event, all ticket holders enjoy an interview-style Q&A moderated by Artistic Director Barbara Cole, and may have their books signed by the author.
- General Admission (Single): $110
- General Admission (Pair): $190
- General Admission (3+): $95 each
- VIP Patron (Single): $275
- VIP Patron (Pair): $495