By Dylan Valic, Editor-In-Chief
The campus’s second annual African American Read-In will be hosted virtually on Wednesday, Feb. 17 from 6:30-8 p.m.
Students are invited to read or perform their favorite works from Black artists, and listen to other students’ readings. Attendees also have the option of only listening to other performances if they don’t want to read themselves.
The event will also feature students from Herstory Writers Workshop who will be reading personal essays that they wrote over the summer of 2020 as a part of the “Black Student Voices” workshop.
Due to COVID-19 the event had to be switched to a virtual format this year. In order to best adapt to the new format the focus of the event will solely be on literature. Certain acts from last year’s event, such as the traditional dancers and the special guest poet, will not be happening during this year’s event.
“We wanted to keep it where it was more authentic to our students, and just let our people express themselves in writing,” Nilda Nelson, Public Safety administrator and one of the planners of the event, said. “There’s a lot of frustration and a lot of feelings and this is the best way to get those things out and to hear from your peers so you don’t feel like you’re alone.”
The National African American Read-In was originally established in 1990 by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). The read-in is “the nation’s first and oldest event dedicated to diversity in literature,” and was created to “make literacy a significant part of Black History Month,” according to the NCTE’s website.
Nelson hopes that the read-in can be an event for “gathering in celebration of Black literature, poetry, personal essays and fiction,” she said. “We want this to be a time where people can reflect on Black authors, Black stories, Black culture and just come and relax and be apart.”
Students interested in attending or reading at the event should contact Mary Pigliacelli at Mary.Pigliacelli@liu.edu to register in advance.