Posted on February 9, 2022

Facing Outcry, Bezos Wants MLK Library Auditorium to Be Named After Toni Morrison Instead of Himself

Natalie Musumeci, Insider, February 4, 2022

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has requested not to have the newly renovated auditorium at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, DC, bear his name following fierce public outcry.

Instead, the centibillionaire asked the DC Public Library Foundation to name the auditorium after late Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison, according to an email Bezos sent to the foundation that was obtained by Insider. {snip}


The decision came after activists excoriated the foundation for considering placing Bezos’ name on the auditorium. Additionally, a letter-writing campaign on The Action Network in protest of the decision garnered nearly 18,000 letters as of Friday.

“To name any part of the MLK Library in honor of Jeff Bezos is disrespectful to the legacy of Dr. King and would also cause hurt and harm to DC’s Black community,”a website for the campaign said. {snip}

Bezos donated a whopping $2.7 million to the DC Public Library Foundation late last year to expand its developing reader program, Beyond the Book. {snip}


In an email sent to the foundation on Thursday, Bezos addressed the criticism and made the new name suggestion.

“[S]ome in the community have suggested a person of color would be more appropriate as a name for the auditorium, especially as it sits inside the Martin Luther King Jr. library,” Bezos wrote. {snip}