The second episode of Professor Ato Quayson’s vlog Critic.Reading.Writing is up!

In this week’s episode, Professor Quayson engages Toni Morisson’s Pulitzer Prize Winning novel, Beloved, to reflect on the meaning of freedom in the shadow of slavery.

Revisiting his discussion of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics from Episode 1, Quayson pushes readers and viewers to question Aristotle’s definition of “a good life” in contrast to social norms that negate the black body.

This 33-minute episode follows the perspective of Morrison’s tragic character, Baby Suggs, and her evolving philosophy surrounding freedom, choice, faith, motherhood, violence, and passion.

Viewers are treated to a short reading from Professor Quayson’s adorably tattered and well-traveled copy of Beloved. Quayson, reading aloud with the care and cadence of one who has chewed on Morrison’s words for every drop of meaning, concludes:

What Baby Suggs gives is an idea of self-loving, but self-loving starting from every detail of the black body…It’s extraordinary because she is declaring all this as a praxis of freedom. That is to say, freedom is not just an idea, it requires a practice of loving one’s own body piecemeal.

Click below to watch!

Critic.Reading.Writing with Ato Quayson is the show for booklovers hungry for meaningful conversations about books.

New episodes of Critic.Reading.Writing with Ato Quayson will be posted every Friday.

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