Teacher Guide

The Nobel Lecture in Literature Lesson Plan

Introduction to The Nobel Lecture in Literature

Toni Morrison gave her Nobel Lecture in December 1993. It was in response to her being awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. She was the first African American woman to get such an honor. The honor was the result of years of work and a long, talented career. This lesson plan covers her acceptance speech.

The speech itself, unsurprisingly, tells a story. Morrison describes an old fable in which an old Black blind woman, who lives on the outskirts of town, is visited often by people who seek her wisdom. A group of young people come and say they are holding a bird (which she cannot see) and ask her to tell them if the bird is dead or alive. Morrison takes this old fable and decides the...

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