A rare chance to read aloud, and be read to, will be offered next Wednesday during the third annual African-American Read-In at Mount Airy Museum of Regional History.
The read-in — scheduled from noon to 1 p.m. in the museum’s second-floor conference room — will celebrate authors representing that group and their work, in conjunction with Black History Month.
“I think the event is important because it helps to make the celebration of African-American literacy a traditional part of the Black History Month activities,” said Emma Jean Tucker of The Plaid Cloth Literary Society, which hosts the annual read-ins. Tucker describes it as “a diverse group of ladies.”
To participate, one needs only to select works written by an African-American and be prepared to read a poem or an excerpt from a book or play, according to museum Executive Director Matt Edwards.
“Even if they don’t want to read, they can just listen,” Tucker said in stressing that the read-in is open to everyone.
Poetry by Langston Hughes, works by author and poet Maya Angelou or excerpts from books of Nikki Giovanni are examples of the material that might be presented. “It’s whatever inspires you,” Edwards said.
“We tend to have a fair amount of poetry.”
And given that the read-in is scheduled during the noontime hour, the museum official encourages those attending to bring along bag lunches.
But the food for the mind will constitute the real menu for Wednesday’s gathering, organizers say.
“And in addition to that, we encourage readers to read African-American literature all year long,” Tucker said.
She mentioned that while the African-American Read-In is now only in its third year locally, it has been held for 24 years nationally and internationally. The observance is endorsed by organizations including the National Council of Teachers of English and the International Reading Association.
Since 1990, more than a million readers around the world have gathered annually to participate in the read-in.
That includes a growing number of participants in Mount Airy, Edwards said, with the 2011 read-in resulting in more people showing up than there was time to read.
Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or email@example.com.