Skip to content

The African American Read-In is a vibrant celebration of literacy that brings communities together to enjoy and honor the work of black authors.

This event, part of Black History Month, emphasizes the importance of reading and sharing stories that reflect African American experiences.

It creates a joyful space where people of all ages can discover the richness of African American literature through various activities like book readings, poetry slams, and discussions with authors​​.

Why Celebrate African American Read-In?

The primary reason for celebrating the African American Read-In is to highlight the contributions of African American writers and encourage a love for reading.

Participants engage with texts that provide insight into black culture, history, and perspectives, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of these works.

This event also aims to increase awareness of African American authors and ensure their stories reach a wider audience, promoting diversity in reading materials​.

The African American Read-In is also about community and connection. It offers a platform for people to come together, share their favorite books, and celebrate the power of storytelling.

Whether through listening to public readings, participating in book drives, or engaging in discussions, attendees are inspired and educated. This celebration helps to cultivate a love for literature and underscores the value of diverse voices in the literary world.

History of African American Read-In

The African American Read-In began in 1990, launched by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English. Dr. Jerrie Cobb Scott proposed the event, aiming to make literacy a central part of Black History Month.

The initiative started with a nationwide read-in on the first Sunday of February, later extending to educational institutions on Monday.

The goal was to highlight and celebrate African American authors and their work. This event encourages schools, churches, libraries, and communities to come together to read literature by African American writers.

The first Read-In saw enthusiastic participation, setting the stage for an annual tradition that has grown significantly over the years​​.

Since its inception, the African American Read-In has engaged millions of readers worldwide. It promotes diverse voices in literature and fosters a love for reading among people of all ages.

By participating, communities honor the contributions of Black authors and create a deeper appreciation for their stories and perspectives​.

How to Celebrate African American Read-In

Host a Storytelling Bash

Gather friends and family for a storytelling bash. Everyone brings their favorite African American book and reads a passage aloud.

Add snacks and cozy blankets to make it a true literary party. Who can resist a good story shared among friends?

Organize a Poetry Slam

Turn up the fun with a poetry slam! Invite local poets to perform works by African American poets. Let the rhythm and words flow, creating a lively and engaging atmosphere.

Encourage the audience to snap their fingers in appreciation.

Launch a Book Drive

Launch a book drive to spread the love of reading. Collect books written by African American authors and donate them to local schools or libraries.

It’s a great way to share valuable stories with the community.

Set Up a Reading Corner

Create a comfy reading corner at home or in a community space. Stock it with books by African American writers.

Encourage visitors to take a moment to relax and read. Who doesn’t love a cozy nook filled with good reads?

Host an Author Talk

Invite an African American author to speak at your school, library, or community center. Hearing from writers about their work and inspirations can be incredibly motivating and add a personal touch to the celebration.

Plan a Film Screening

Screen films based on African American literature or featuring African American directors. Follow up with a discussion about the themes and stories presented.

Popcorn and engaging conversation make for a perfect evening.

Craft a Themed Art Project

Combine literature and creativity with a themed art project. Create artwork inspired by African American books or characters. Display the masterpieces in a mini-exhibit to celebrate the fusion of words and art.

Organize a Community Read-Aloud

Set up a community read-aloud event in a park or public space. Have volunteers read excerpts from various African American books.

It’s a wonderful way to engage the community and share powerful stories with a larger audience.

Also on ...

View all holidays
View all holidays

We think you may also like...

National Thesaurus Day

Handy books full of synonyms, they're like treasure chests of linguistic options, adding depth and variety to languages.