Hour Long #ReadWithJenna Special Honors the Late Toni Morrison on the 50th Anniversary of her Novel, The Bluest Eye

50th Anniversary of her Novel, The Bluest Eye

December 15, 2020 – In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the novel The Bluest Eye and to honor the late Nobel Prize Winner Toni Morrison, TODAY with Hoda & Jenna co-host Jenna Bush Hager will host “TODAY All Day Presents: A Celebration of Toni Morrison.” On Monday, December 21 at 11 AM and 8 PM ET/PT, the hour-long special highlighting the legacy and impact of the literary giant, will stream on TODAY All Day, the morning show’s new 24/7 streaming channel on Peacock, TODAY.com, Roku and Xumo.

Bush Hager considers Morrison her favorite author of all time. In a recent TODAY.com article, Bush Hager shared that when she was assigned The Bluest Eye in high school, she was so captivated, she couldn’t put the book down. Earlier this month, she announced that the novel would be her December pick for her Read with Jenna book club.  Whether re-reading The Bluest Eye for the first time since high school or college, or picking it up for the first time ever, the themes of this novel—timed to the 50th anniversary of the novel’s release—will come to life during this hour-long special. 

Global media leader Oprah Winfrey, Well-Read Black Girl founder Glory Edim, Nicole Dennis-Benn, an author who was previously featured in the Read with Jenna book club, and Kessina Cheriza, a high school teacher who assigns The Bluest Eye as a must-read for her students every year, are included in the special.  Additionally, youth winners of an essay contest hosted in Toni Morrison’s birthplace of Lorain County, Ohio will be part of the program.

Since launching in March 2019, Bush Hager’s Read with Jenna book club has shined a spotlight on 23 books. Featuring first-hand, on-air and digital interviews with the authors, and offering a list of thought-provoking questions to consider after reading each pick, the book club has over 100,000 followers. This is Bush Hager’s first-ever TODAY All Day book club special, aiming to honor Morrison, the beloved author’s timeless writing and lasting impact, making her first novel still relevant half-a-century after it was released.

“TODAY All Day Presents: A Celebration of Toni Morrison” follows the success of additional special programming on the TODAY All Day streaming channel including “Rokerthon,” “Coronavirus and the Classroom town hall,” the travel series “Incredible World,” daily fitness and cooking classes, Peacock’s “Holiday Steals & Deals with Jill Martin” and most recently, “TODAY Talks Turkey,” a Thanksgiving cooking special.

Viewers can tune in to TODAY All Day on Peacock, TODAY.com, Roku and Xumo on December 21 at 11 AM and 8 PM ET/PT and learn more at TODAY.com here.


For more information, contact:

Emily Passer

NBC News


About TODAY:

NBC’s TODAY is the news program that informs, entertains, inspires and sets the agenda each morning for Americans. Airing live from 7 to 11 a.m. ET, TODAY reaches more than five million people every day through its broadcast, and millions more through TODAY.com, the TODAY app, the streaming service TODAY All Day and social media platforms. Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker, Carson Daly, Craig Melvin, Natalie Morales, Jenna Bush Hager, Dylan Dreyer, Sheinelle Jones and Willie Geist are the anchors and hosts. Noah Oppenheim is the president and executive in charge. Libby Leist is the executive producer of the 7-9 a.m. ET hours, and Joanne LaMarca Mathisen is the executive producer of the 10 a.m. ET hour. Ashley Parrish is the head of TODAY Digital.

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