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Black History Month kicks off with read-in, literacy campaign

By Samantha Guerrero
Staff Writer

The 19th National African American Read-In, a Literacy Campaign, is being held Feb. 4 in The Mary Livermore Library.

In 1990, The Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English sponsored the First African American read-in.

The sponsorship was joined by the National Council of Teachers of English in 1991 and has been endorsed by the International Reading Association. The goal is to make the celebration of African American literacy a traditional part of Black History Month activities. More than a million readers of all ethnic groups, from 49 states, the West Indies and African countries have participated in this event.

From 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Children’s Hour will be held in the Office of Multicultural and Minority Affairs Conference Room.
Development Librarian Karen Orr-Fritts, Executive Assistant of the Mary Livermore Library Gwendolyn Locklear, New Century Bank Branch Manager Lucille Locklear and SGA Vice President Hannah Simpson will read African-American stories to children from Shining Stars Preschool.

The pre-school students will also be given books donated by UNC Pembroke’s Center for Leadership and Service.

From 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Faculty Lounge of the University Center, the recently published book “Come on People: On the Path from Victims to Victors” by Drs. Bill Cosby and Alvin Poussaint will be open to discussion and critique by university and community panelists and audience members.

The readers will be Associate Director of Resident Life Cynthia Redfearn, Associate Professor of Education Dr. Alfred Bryant, Study Abroad Coordinator and Office of International Programs Robyn Deemer, Assistant Professor of English Dr. Scott Hicks, Director of Continuing and Distance Education Dr. Charles Tita, Lecturer of the Chemistry and Physics Department Sailaja Vallbha and students Elizabeth Jones and Jamel Porter.

Participants of this event will also give oral readings of African American Literature from 7p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Mary Livermore Library Main Reading Room. Petrina Bryant, better known as Trin-A-Thoughtz, a North Carolina NAACP House Poet, will be reading her own poetry.

Petrina Bryant is a community activist who speaks out against a variety of topics that include HIV/AIDS awareness, diabetes, cancer, infant mortality and gang violence.

Oral reading participants will also include Miss North Carolina 2007 Jessica Jacobs and Miss UNCP 2008, who will be announced Jan 31. Assistant Professor of American Indian Studies Dr. Jane Haladay will be reading excerpts from “Chapter One’s Soldier: A Poet’s Childhood” by June Jordan.

Acquisitions Library Assistant of the Mary Livermore Library Vivian Oxendine will be reading “Still I Rise” by Dr. Maya Angelou.

The event is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural and Minority Affairs, the Friends of the Library and UNC Pembroke Center for Leadership and Service’s First Book.

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Updated: Monday, January 28, 2008
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