Critically acclaimed actors André Holland and Phylicia Rashad will visit 92Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center on Friday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. to pay tribute to author Toni Morrison—with a dramatic reading of Morrison’s last book, “The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations.” The actors will read selections from the book, curated by Morrison scholar and Columbia University Professor Farah Jasmine Griffin, and commissioned by 92Y.

The event will take place on what would have been Morrison’s 89th birthday; it is a reprise of a May 2019 92Y performance, which also featured Holland and Rashad.

“She was a magician with language who understood the power of words,” Oprah Winfrey said in reaction to the Nobel Prize Winner’s death last August. “She used them to roil us, to wake us, to educate us and help us grapple with our deepest wounds and try to comprehend them.”

In “The Source of Self-Regard,” Morrison takes on a wide range of topics with resonance today—the complex history of race relations in the U.S., migration and the notion of borders, feminism and social politics, among many others. She also offers appraisals of renowned writers and artists, such as James Baldwin, William Faulkner and Romare Bearden—as well as her own work.

“With ‘The Source of Self-Regard,’ Toni Morrison further cements her reputation as the towering literary figure of our time,” said Griffin. “Her intellect, like her prose, is original, incisive and illuminating. Hers is a voice we urgently need now more than ever, and I am honored to join these great artists as we bring that voice to the stage of the 92nd Street Y.”

“Toni Morrison’s words ring with clarity, wisdom, compassion, and beauty,” said Rashad, the Tony Award-winning actor well known for “A Raisin in the Sun,” among many other theater and television roles. “It is an honor to speak them aloud.”

André Holland’s film and theater credits include “Moonlight,” “High Flying Bird,” “Selma” and August Wilson’s “Jitney” on Broadway.

Since 1939, 92Y’s Poetry Center has presented readings by many of the greatest contemporary writers, including Toni Morrison, who first appeared in 1979 and returned in 2015 for a conversation with Farah Jasmine

Griffin upon publication of her novel God Help the Child.

Tickets start at $38. For more info, visit

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