African-American Literature Read-In Event

Today my college held an African-American Literature Read-In event. My poetry professor offered extra credit to anyone who wanted to attend the event and then write a review of it but the truth is that I was planning on going even before she made that offer. And I have to tell you, I am very glad that I did. It was a great event. I read Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Woman” and then by listening to the other readers, I got introduced to some great literature.

Some of my favorite moments of the day were:

– Excerpts from a letter written by Jordan Anderson, a former slave, in response to his former master’s request that Jordan come back and work for him again. A quick look around the internet found this information about what happened to Jordan and the Anderson family after the letter was written.

– A reading of Langston Hughes’s Theme for English B which I really enjoyed

But the highlight of the day was a reading of Daniel Beaty’s “Knock Knock”. The reader gave a powerful and emotional rendition but I found this video of Daniel Beaty reciting it and it just gives me chills.

There was a lot of stuff read that I had read before and was familiar with. There were selections read from Jean Toomer’s Cane  and an except from Baldwin’s short story, “Sonny’s Blues” (both of which I read last year in my Short Story class last semester) and I wasn’t the only one who read a Maya Angelou poem. But what I really enjoyed was being exposed to the things like “Knock, Knock” that I hadn’t come into contact with before and might not have ever been introduced to in the course of my education if not for this event. If and when I actually become an English teacher, I will be a better teacher for having this exposure than I would have without it.


About Ciarrai

Hi. My name is Kerry but here online I tend to go by the Gaelic version of my name, Ciarrai. I am a woman in my mid-30's who lives on Long Island, NY, with my husband, Rob, several guitars, a Nikon D40, more yarn, beads and books than I care to admit to and a cat who has a million nicknames and quite a few theme songs. I have a B.A. in Psychology and have recently returned to college to pursue a teaching degree so that I can eventually get a job as a High School English teacher. In addition to my major obsessions (Reading, Beading, Knitting, Music and Photography), I also enjoy playing Board Games, going to Renaissance Faires, Museums and Broadway Musicals.
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One Response to African-American Literature Read-In Event

  1. Pingback: Poetry Retrospective… |

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