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African American Read-In Takes Place At Ivy Tech

Zach Bernard/WBOI News

Ivy Tech’s North Campus hosted its annual African American Read-In Program on Wednesday afternoon.

Students and members of the public gathered in the common area of Ivy Tech’s student center. Barbeque was served for lunch as faculty, staff and students from both Ivy Tech and PFW shared literature and poetry from their favorite African American writers.

Susan Howard is an assistant professor and assistant department chair of English at Ivy Tech, and she has attended all three read-in events to date. For Wednesday’s event she read two works: one from Ntozake Shange, and “Ain’t I A Woman” by Sojourner Truth.

Howard noted that these works aren’t just significant to black history; rather, they provide an important insight into our collective, American history.

“I don’t want to box them into a corner and say only African Americans should be interested in what these writers had to say," said Howard. "The importance of Black History Month is to be inclusive; to get everyone in this country an education of some sort about black history.”

While the read-in is part of February’s larger celebration of Black History Month, Ivy Tech doesn’t plan to limit the spotlight on black writing to just this month.

A book discussion on Michelle Obama’s Becoming is scheduled for March 20, and on April 24 assistant professor of English Steve Lively will host an open discussion on the works of Harryette Mullen.

Zach joined 89.1 WBOI as a reporter and local host for All Things Considered, and hosted Morning Edition for the past few years. In 2022, he was promoted to Content Director.