Citrus County 5th annual African American Read-In 2012

Citrus County 5th annual African American Read-In 2012

For the second year in a row I was honored to be invited to participate in the Citrus County 5th Annual African American Read-In 2012 hosted at the College of Central Florida Citrus Campus.

This year’s African American Read-In (AARI) was, I believe, the largest Citrus County AARI yet, and had over 50 participants either reading or performing.   The Citrus County AARI joins over a million readers in the 2012 Twenty-Third National African American Read-In. The event is nationally sponsored by the Black Caucus of NCTE and NCTE.  AARI is an opportunity to spot light literacy as a significant part of Black History Month that features community members reading from professional African American writer’s material.

I read as part of a group which included Michelle McHugh of IPS, Laura Manos of HES, Tonya Peters, School Board member Ginger Bryant,and myself. We were reading the Giant Steps to Change the World by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee”. This was Mrs. Bryant 5th time participating in the event, having read every year since AARI began in Citrus County.

This year was a little extra special for me as my own son, Ethan, and his classmate Fallon, were asked to read due to the fact that they were the top placed students that participated in the Citrus County 2011 Tropicana Speech Competition. They read the poem PeOplE EquAL” by James Berry.

The high light of the readings was undoubtedly Mr. Bruce Bellamy’s reading of Dr. Martin Luther King’s, “I Have a Dream” speech.  Mr. Bellamy captured the very essences of Dr. King’s speech.  While I was sitting in the audience and listening as Mr. Bellamy did his reading,  I got shivers as he spoke. When Mr. Bellamy finished, the instinctive reaction from the whole audience was to stand and clap.

The National African American Read-In and the Citrus African American Read-In wants to encourage you to read books authored by Black writers throughout the year.

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