LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, PA — The Toni Morrison Society will present Lincoln University with the 26th bench placement from the Bench by the Road Project on Thursday, November 14.
“We are honored to place this historical marker on our storied campus as a demonstration of the University’s commitment to remembering the lives of Africans who were enslaved,” said President Brenda A. Allen. “By placing this bench at the heart of our campus, it will be a constant reminder to advance the legacy to “educate for freedom” as envisioned by Horace Mann Bond, the University’s eighth president.
Lincoln University becomes only the second HBCU in the country selected for this honor.
In the University’s application to the society’s Bench by the Road Project Committee, Dr. Lenetta R. Lee, vice president for student success and dean of the college, stressed that Lincoln University is a perfect illustration of a place to sit and reflect on the African Diaspora.
“Lincoln University, established prior to the American Civil War, was founded purposefully as a place for us to perch, reflect, dream, and be educated. Today we emphasize the same to our student body, a place for them to sit, imagine big, learn, liberate, and lead.”
The Toni Morrison Society launched the Bench by the Road Project on Feb. 18, 2006—author Toni Morrison’s 75th birthday—as a memorial history and community outreach initiative. The name “Bench by the Road” is taken from Morrison’s remarks in a 1989 interview with World Magazine, in which she spoke of the absences of historical markers in certain places that help remember the lives of people of African descent and their contributions to the world.
Morrison, who passed away Aug. 5 at the age of 88, was the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. She authored 11 novels, as well as children’s books and essay collections, including celebrated works such as “Song of Solomon,” which received the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1977, and “Beloved,” which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988.
Ceremony participants include representatives from the Toni Morrison Society; members of the University Board of Trustees; and senior university administrators. Federal, state, and local elected officials are expected to speak.
The unveiling of the bench will take place from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, November 14, at the International Cultural Center on the Lincoln University campus, 1570 Baltimore Pike, Lincoln University, Pennsylvania 19352. The event is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.
Source: Lincoln University, 1570 Baltimore Pike, Lincoln University, PA 19352
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