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Library to host ‘read-in’

In an effort to make literacy a significant part of Black History Month, the Young Adult Literature Class at Troy University will conduct a read-in from 4 until 6 p.m. on Wednesday at the Troy Public Library and the public is invited.

“February is African-American History month and, as part of the National Council of Teachers of English, my young adult literature class is conducting the read-in,” said Dr. Patricia Waters. “The students will read aloud selections of their choice and these readings will be a connection to the African American culture. The selections have been left up to the students and we can expect to hear readings from many different writers.”

Waters said two authors that are sure to be read are Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Langston Hughes and Julius Lester. Hughes was an American novelist, playwright, short story writer and columnist. He was one of the earliest innovators of the new literary art form, jazz poetry.

Lester’s family history, as well as the history of African Americans, is the inspiration for many of his books.

“Sometimes I feel like there are all these spirits of blacks inside me, people who never had the opportunity to tell their stories, and they have chosen me to be their voice,” he said.

Waters said that a reading from “Pink and Say,” by Patricia Polacco is also a possibility. “Pink and Say” highlights the brief but intimate friendship of two young boys, Pinkus Aylee (Pink) and Sheldon Curtis (Say), during the Civil War.

“And we could hear selections from Uncle Remus,” she said.

“The African American Read-in will be entertaining and, perhaps, inspirational. We invite everyone who enjoys a good book and wants to learn more about African American writers is encouraged to attend.”

This read-in is a public service component of the Young Adult Literature class and is an event of the 22nd National African American Read-In.

The Read-In has been endorsed by the International Reading Association. More than a million readers of all ethnic groups from the United States, the District of Columbia, the West Indies and African countries have participated.

The goal is to make the celebration of African American literacy a traditional part of Black History Month activities.