Monday, February 9, 2009

African American Read-In

The historic Citrus County Court House in Inverness was the setting yesterday for the annual African American Read-In. We were fortunate to hear about it from our friends, Mike and Abby. Mike is a passionate advocate for literature and literacy. He facilitates the book discussion group here in The Islands. He's also involved in efforts in the broader community.

The two hour event, held in the second floor court room, was a collection of readings, all written by African Americans. Community leaders, average citizens and school children read the pieces to the diverse crowd. Writers included Barak Obama, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Nikki Giovanni and Mary McLeod Bethune. Intermission offered a chance for attendees to chat and enjoy refreshments provided by local super markets.

When we reconvened, we were entertained by The Ovations, a gospel group, that had us on our feet, singing and clapping.

The read-in concluded with the audience reading Skin Again by Bell Hooks, a wonderful children's picture book that ends, "For we are all inside made up of real history, real dreams, and all the stuff of all we hope for when we can be all real together on the inside." Each page of the book was projected on a screen throughout the event. The illustrations are wonderful and I plan to order copies for my grands.
Prayer, by Maya Angelou, closed the event and we went out into the Florida sunshine.
You can read more about this event in the Citrus County Chronicle.

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