2018 African American Read-In, Day 1

TAN: Good morning, Williamsburg!  We’re your school librarians, Ms. Tan…

LORD:  And Ms. Lord.  February is Black History Month, and today we’re here to introduce the National African American Read-In — the nation’s first and oldest event dedicated to diversity in literature.

TAN:  The African American Read-In was established in 1990 by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English.  Its goal was to make LITERACY a significant part of Black History Month.

LORD: The Read-In will run for two days during Wolf Time.  For today’s portion, we begin with Ms. Jayla Parks from the Arlington County Public Library — who will present a pair of book talks featuring prominent African American authors.  TAN:  Get ready for a good read!

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TAN: Welcome back!  As Ms. Parks just said, there are so many wonderful books by African American authors — and it would be our pleasure to help you find the right book for you.

LORD:  Just come by the library to see everything we have to offer!

TAN:  Up next, we have a short film focusing on acclaimed author, Walter Dean Myers.  Myers’ wrote more than 100 books in a career that spanned over 50 years.  He’s received the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults; he won the Coretta Scott King Award FIVE TIMES; and the Newbery Honors, twice.

LORD: One of his most famous books, Monster, was the first winner of the Michael L. Printz Award, a National Book Award Finalist, and a New York Times Bestseller.

TAN: Following his death in 2014, a new award was created in his honor:  The Walter Dean Myers Awards for Outstanding Children’s Literature — but it’s more commonly just referred to as:  the “Walter.”  The Walter” honors and celebrates diverse books written by diverse authors.

LORD:  Now stay tuned for a film that honors both Walter Dean Myers himself, as well as the recipients of his namesake award, the “Walter.”

TAN:  We hope it will inspire a good conversation about the importance of diverse literature in our society.