By Shanise Sledge
Bowie State University held its 25th Annual African-American Read-In on Feb. 19 in the Special Collections Room of the Thurgood Marshall Library in celebration of Black History Month. The program was designed to bring attention to African-American life, history and culture through the literary works of black authors.
Faculty and students took turns reading aloud from a range of books and poems. Each participant read five to 10 minutes from an excerpt of their choice. Some of the works included, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou, the children's book "Happy to be Nappy" by bell hooks, and the poem "Harlem Shadows" by Claude McKay.
The importance of this program was to teach African-American history through the everyday voices of ordinary people, organizers said.
“I encourage everyone to come out to the next read-in because it is important that we know our history,” said Kendra Miller, an education majors at BSU, who attended the event.
The event was co-sponsored by the Thurgood Marshall Library staff and the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English.
Since its founding in 1970, the mission of the Black Caucus has been to "enhance the professional welfare of English language arts professionals of African descent," according to the group's website. Additionally, the caucus is also "committed to Black students and scholars experiencing success in English language arts."