Caroline Brewer is a children’s author and literacy activist, a reading coach, former classroom teacher and former Pulitzer Prize jurist and nominated journalist. She has just published her debut children's novel in verse, Darius Daniels: Game On.
Long-established, award-winning, and rising authors, poets, historians, children’s authors, and journalists, plus a continental breakfast and book-signing afterwards – all on the menu for the 2nd Annual Black Authors Breakfast Party and African American Read-In. It’s all happening this Friday, February 7 from 7:00 – 9:00 am in downtown Washington, DC. (1101 New York Ave NW).
I am the grateful founder and organizer inviting everyone in the vicinity to join us in person or to watch the C-SPAN BookTV broadcast to be announced later this month. RSVPs requested to our gracious partner and host, Signal Financial Credit Union at email@example.com
D.C.’s Legendary Poet E. Ethelbert Miller will be
our keynote reader and speaker, joined by ten
other D.C.-based writers. And I’m excited to offer
a “book-tasting” of my debut verse children’s novel, Darius Daniels: Game On!, which will
include accompaniment by creative vocalists
Some might wonder why it’s important to celebrate black authors. It’s important because even in 2020, black authors are still rarely seen. The average person has difficulty naming more than a few black authors, teachers still tell us they struggle to find works for students by black authors, and bookstores and many libraries showcase limited titles by black authors. When we read a book, recite a poem, tell a story, or sing a song by a black writer, or listen as they read, sing, or talk to us, we bind ourselves to that person and to that work. We announce community when we bind ourselves to that person and to that work. And in the binding, we create something new and remarkable.
We celebrate black authors because we want them to know that in keeping with the Zulu greeting, Sawubona, we see them. To see black authors is to laugh with them, cry with them, go deep into history, family, religion, culture, love, and friendship with them.
We celebrate black authors to honor the legacy of the founder of the African-American Read-In, Dr. Jerrie Cobb Scott, who passed away in 2017. “It’s important for all of us to see ourselves in books,” Professor Scott said, and for there to be witnesses. She proposed the event to the Black Caucus of National Council of Teachers of English (of which she was a member and so am I) so that people of all backgrounds could become part of the world of stories that black writers create.
From the beginning in 1990, the Read-In was her invitation for people to gather anywhere, in schools, libraries, bookstores, cafés, prisons, workplaces, and even their living rooms, to read books by African-American authors, and report those results. They went from 5,000 to a million readers within five years.
So, today, I invite you to celebrate the now global phenomenon of the African-American Read-In, on its 30th anniversary, anywhere you are. I invite you to help us make sure more authors are seen and more people are witnesses.
Details and RSVP at this link.
Follow @brewercaroline @signalFCU on Twitter for news and updates about the Black Authors Breakfast Party and African American Read-In.
Author Eloise Greenfield at the 2019 African American Read-in.
The inaugural Black Authors Breakfast Party/African American Read-In (BABP/AARI) was held Friday, February 1, 2019, and was aired in its entirety later in the month by C-SPAN’s BookTV. Learn more here about that event and other Read-Ins held in 2019. See BookTV video of the 2019 event here and a 3-minute highlight video here.
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Karen Leggett Abouraya