Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Why I Love the African American Read-In

Literature holds a special place in my English teacher heart. Unfortunately, though, it’s something I have precious little time to enjoy. That’s one reason why I relish Black History Month in February. Every year for as long as I can remember, NCTE has held its own African American Read-In right here in our office. For an hour on the first Monday of February I get to spend time with African American literature, first reading on my own and then listening to the readings of others. It’s usually a quiet time, an emotional time—a time when NCTE staff members feel part of another world outside—and inside—the office.

For that hour, those of us who participate get the opportunity to stop to celebrate literature by African-Americans, to get acquainted with books we haven’t read, to share titles, to hear words—to connect with one another as colleagues of literature as well as work colleagues. It’s a once-a-year hour I don’t want to miss.

This year I encourage you to hold your own African American Read-In—to spend just an hour with colleagues or neighbors or friends reading and sharing African American Literature. Do this any time in February. No elaborate plans are necessary—there are book and planning suggestions on the African American Read-In website.

Maybe right now you'd like to share your plans.

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