In The News | First Toni Morrison bench in state honors Prudence Crandall and Black students

Canterbury (The Bulletin, September 20, 2021) — Poets, activists and community leaders gathered outside the Prudence Crandall Museum Sunday afternoon under the bright, late summer sunshine to unveil the first Toni Morrison Society bench in the state. 

Toni Morrison Society member Cheryl Gooch, society founder Carolyn Denard, society Chairman Craig Stutman, Canterbury First Selectman Chris Lippke and Windham Judicial District State’s Attorney Anne Mahoney unveil the newest Toni Morrison "Bench by the Road" at the Prudence Crandall Museum on Sunday in Canterbury.

The newest Toni Morrison Society “Bench by The Road” unveiled at the Prudence Crandall Museum on Sunday In Canterbruy. John Penney

The 6-foot steel Toni Morrison “Bench by the Road” sitting area was dedicated to the memory of Prudence Crandall, an educator and 19th century local civil rights icon, and her Black students, a group whose story traces a direct line to the modern civil rights era and beyond.

The bench, fronted by a black plaque inscripted with gold lettering, was brought to Canterbury through a fundraising effort spearheaded by Windham Judicial District State’s Attorney Anne Mahoney with the help of the Sustainable CT group and local donators.

“My hope is the next generation can find inspiration here and seek out the works of (Morrison) and become more morally enhanced,” Mahoney said.

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Todd Parcinski TRCC Mac