The 6th annual African American Read-In featured UMKC faculty, staff, students and well-known members of the community. The event, co-sponsored by the UMKC Friends of the Library and the University Libraries, was held on Feb. 24 in the iX theatre of Miller Nichols Library.
Local author, Natasha Ria El-Scari presented “The Secret Society of Black Mothers” and “Everyone wants a safe MLK poem.” The latter poem comes from her book “Poems from Screaming Times.”
Miller Nichols librarian Tracey Hughes also presented an original piece entitled “A visit from Grandma Dorothy.” The work was an excerpt from a post on her blog “Tracey’s Tree.”
Others read excerpts from well-known artists, such as poet Langston Hughes and children’s book author Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews.
UMKC senior Aishah Harvey performed a monologue piece by James de Jongh. The work was an excerpt from “Do Lord Remember Me.” Harvey has performed twice now at the African America Read-In and said this year will not be her last.
The UMKC Libraries hosts the Read-In every February, a tradition started in 2010. The Read-In is a national program created by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English in 1989. Miller Nichols librarian Gloria Tibbs brought the event to UMKC and is now the advisor of the African American Read-In committee.
Each year in January, UMKC Libraries sends information to the public about how to participate in the event. This information includes a link that allows online registration as a sharer or listener. If you miss registration, you can also sign up when you arrive at the event.
In order to participate as a speaker, you must disclose the piece you anticipate sharing. Each year, a variety of works are presented. Some people share the works from known authors and others share original pieces. Look for next year’s African American Read-In information starting in January.