There is no place you or I can go, to think about or not think about, to summon the presence of, or recollect the absences of slaves; nothing that reminds us of the ones who made the journey and of those who did not make it. There is no suitable memorial or placque or wreath or wall or park or skyscraper lobby. There’s no three-hundred-foot tower. There’s no small bench by the road.” -Toni Morrison
A Bench by the Road Project was launched by The Toni Morrison Society on February 18, 2006. Inspired by remarks made by Toni Morrison in a 1989 interview with World Magazine. Morrison spoke of the “absences of historical markers that help remember the lives of Africans who were enslaved and how her fifth novel Beloved, served this symbolic role.” Visit ToniMorrisonSociety.org/bench.html for additional information.
South-View Cemetery received the 23rd of 25 benches to date, on April 7, 2018. Additional bench placements include Howard University, Mississippi Freedom School, and Jackson State University’s Margaret Walker Center.