Elon University / Today at Elon / Tommy Orange discusses the power of story in MLK Commemorative Address
, 2023-01-11 13:48:12,
Orange, an award-winning author, delivered the Martin Luther King Jr. 2023 Memorial Address on Tuesday, January 10, as part of a month of recognizing and celebrating the legacy of Dr. King and the 2022-23 Elon University Speaker Series .
Tommy Orange set out to recapture and retell Native American stories when he wrote “There There,” his remarkable 2018 Pulitzer Prize-nominated work about 12 characters whose journeys merge at the Big Oakland Powwow, an event that ends in tragedy.
Orange sat down with Wendy Scott, associate dean for academic success at Elon Law and Deandra Little, associate provost for faculty development, to discuss the book and its importance during the annual Martin Luther King Jr. memorial address at Elon University.
“’History’ is one of those words so ubiquitous and overused that you almost lose the meaning. In the native context, it feels weighted on the storytelling tradition side of things. The way I’m using it… it has a little more to do with the story that we can’t tell our own stories,” Orange told dozens of attentive attendees at the McCrary Theater Tuesday night.
The native story is largely ignored, or when it is told, it is given a sanitized, “pilgrim-laden” treatment, especially in public schools, he said. So much so that…
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