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Not even the man who plays Olivia Pope’s father knows what’s in store for her next season on “Scandal” — though TV’s favorite fixer seems to have gone over to the dark side. “Clearly, she was quoting a lot of the things I said to her and taking...

In My Library: Joe Morton

Not even the man who plays Olivia Pope’s father knows what’s in store for her next season on “Scandal” — though TV’s favorite fixer seems to have gone over to the dark side. “Clearly, she was quoting a lot of the things I said to her and taking...

In My Library: Joe Morton

Not even the man who plays Olivia Pope’s father knows what’s in store for her next season on “Scandal” — though TV’s favorite fixer seems to have gone over to the dark side. “Clearly, she was quoting a lot of the things I said to her and taking a path that will lead her to power,” says Joe Morton, who won an Emmy Award in 2014 as the show’s Mephistophelian Rowan Pope. And while Morton enjoys tweeting as a conflation of that scoundrel and himself — check out #TheBookOfRowan — that’s just one role of many. Nearly 50 years after his Broadway debut in “Hair,” Morton plays the comedian and activist Dick Gregory in off-Broadway’s “Turn Me Loose,” which he prepped for by watching Gregory on YouTube.

Here’s what’s in his library.

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

My favorite book of all time. It was written in the ’50s, and it’s primarily about what it means to be black in America. The first time I read it was in high school. Much later I read it for an audiobook and it became personal. It’s an incredibly complicated and textured novel about the principal of freedom and social betrayal that’s prescient and inspiring.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

My son read this and said, “Dad, have you read this?” I ran out and got it. Written as a long-form letter to his son, Coates’ book underscores the fact that, though it’s more subtle now, we’re still dealing with a ruthless and homicidal racist system and corporate greed that is as devastating as it was 50 years ago.

Nigger: An Autobiography by Dick Gregory

I grew up in a family where this word was verboten, so in taking on a play where I have to say it close to 50 times, I had to understand where [Gregory] was coming from. He writes about being a skinny little kid growing up with gangs who couldn’t fight but could tell jokes. He says if we own this word, it can’t be used against us.

Tsotsi by Athol Fugard

This is a novella about gangs in South Africa that I found by accident: I was a fan of Fugard’s plays, and I saw it for sale on the street. I wanted to turn it into a film, but Harry Belafonte had the rights to it. What I’ve done is turn it into a hip-hopera for the stage. With the advent of “Hamilton,” it might be more accessible!

Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.

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