Readers into Black Literature as Part of National Exercise

Article excerpt

Members of a book club will meet on the Northside tomorrow to

discuss their favorite book and how it impacted their lives.

The exercise will be their way of participating for the first

time in "The Eighth National African-American Read-In Chain," a

program that encourages groups nationwide to read books written

by African-American authors.

The group -- People Reading for Inspiration, Discussion &

Enjoyment -- will meet at 4 p.m. at 800 Broward Road to share

their favorite book, poem or Bible verse, said Felice Franklin,

a book club member.

"It's going to be a potluck and a book luck," she said. "The

program is encouraging what we do all year long."

In 1990, the first African-American Read-In Chain was sponsored

by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of

English and a year later the National Council of Teachers of

English joined in the sponsorship.

Every year, the sponsors set aside at least two days, the first

Sunday and Monday in February, to celebrate the program, which

was founded six years ago by University of Memphis education

professor Jerrie C. Scott to increase literacy among

African-American youths by exposing them to black authors.

This year, the goal is to get more than a million readers from

the 49 participating states, the West Indies and African

countries to participate, said Scott, who also directs diversity

programs at the University of Memphis. …