Toni Morrison's "Song of Solomon" vividly exemplifies Italo Calvino’s definition of a classic as “a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.” Published in 1977, this novel continues to delight, educate, and challenge readers and invites us to hear African American voices absent from the canon. Both a family saga of the Dead family—their odd surname the result of an intoxicated and indifferent Freedmen's Bureau agent during Reconstruction—and a coming-of-age novel, "Song of Solomon" is replete with memorable characters, historical analogues, and moral questions and quandaries that still exist. Each class we will explore the ideas and writing found in 50 pages of the novel. We also will view works by African American artists such as Gordon Parks, Elizabeth Catlett, Romare Bearden, and Faith Ringgold, whose art extends many of the novel’s concerns. Morrison's belief that art is a collaboration between artist and reader/viewer is the bedrock of this class. | Lecture + Q&A; Facilitated discussion; Viewing videos.