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Events to Celebrate the African American Read-In

February is coming soon, and with it, the African American Read-In. Established in 1990 by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English to make literacy a significant part of Black History Month, the National African American Read-In is the nation’s first and oldest event dedicated to diversity in literature.

Every year, during the month of February, schools, churches, libraries, bookstores, community and professional organizations, and interested citizens are urged to make literacy a significant part of Black History Month by hosting an African American Read-In. Hosting an event can be as simple as bringing together friends to share a book or as elaborate as arranging public readings and media presentations that feature professional African American writers. Learn more about hosting your own event here.

Looking for an event near you? Check out our event list below. If you’re hosting an event that you’d like to share, submit your event here. Make sure to share photos on social media using #AARI18.



African American Read-In: Books, Poetry and Song
Toulminville Library Branch, Mobile, Alabama
Monday, February 5, 2018 // 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Come out and join our special guests and community partners as we celebrate Black Heritage in reading, poetry, storytelling and songs.



Citrus County 11th Annual African American Read-In
CF Citrus County Campus, Lecanto, Florida
Sunday, February 25, 2018 // 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Come and enjoy listening to classic and contemporary examples of African American writing performed live by your neighbors including many talented actors, writers and speakers, adult and youth. Spirituals and traditional folktales, drama and comedy, picture books, poetry and prayer will all be represented.

The Library@GCHS
Glades Central High School, Belle Glade, Florida
Wednesday, February 28, 2018 // 11:15 a.m. to 12:50 p.m.

For the second year in a row, The Library@GCHS (Glades Central High School) is celebrating the African American Read-In. During both student lunches, peers will be reading excerpts from various works. The presentation will include brief biographical information on the authors. There may also be a Google Hangout with another participating school in our district.

African American Read-In Ocklawaha Marion Forest Public Library
777 S. Highway 314A, Ocklawaha, FL
Thursday, February 1, 2018 // 4:00 p.m.

Celebrate a rich heritage in literature, film, music and art at the 28th National African American Read-In. Readers, performers and listeners of all ages are welcome. Contact the library if you are interested in performing or reading.

African American Read-In Miami Dade College North Campus
11380 NW 27th Ave, Miami, FL
Monday, February 5, 2018 // 10:00 a.m.

The African American Read-In takes place at Miami Dade College’s North Campus during the first week of February. The goal is to make literacy, education, and community a significant part of Black History Month. 2018 keynote address given by Dr. Kalfani Turè of Yale University. This event is open to high school and college students, as well as, local community members.

African-American Read-In
Orlando Public Library, Orlando, FL
Sunday, February 11, 2018 // 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Celebrate African-American literature in poetry, story, and song, performed by local luminaries in conjunction with the 28th Annual National African-American Read-In. This event is free and open to the public.




African American Read In
Fred A. Toomer Elementary School, Atlanta, GA
Wednesday February 28, 2018, 8:30 – 2:00

Parents and community members are invited to come to into our classrooms to read aloud #ownvoices books to kindergarten through fifth grade.

African American Read In
Maxwell Theatre, 2500 Walton Way, August, GA
Monday, February 12, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

The National African American Read-In is the nation’s first and oldest event dedicated to diversity in literature. Augusta University will participate in this event as volunteers and professionals read literature written by African Americans.




The 29th African American Read-In, hosted by Dr. Muhammad at Governors State University
Governors State University, 1 University Parkway D1490, University Park, IL 
Monday, February 26, 2018, 6-8pm in the Hall of Honors.

To register as an AARI reader and/or author please email Dr. Rashidah J. Muhammad at

Black Writers Read In
Centennial High School, Champaign, IL
February 15, 2018

The students will read poems by Black authors hoping to educate our community about Black Culture to lead to greater appreciation and humanity. This year the material will fit under the theme of Poetic Justice. For the second year in a row, the Black Writers Read-In will be held in the Aldridge Auditorium and open to students, staff, and family connected to Centennial High School.




African American Children and Families Conference (featuring a Read-In)
University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA
Thursday, February 22, 2018 // 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. 

Culturally relevant speakers, workshops and open conversations will highlight this year’s conference. Lessons learned from the past will make this conference a positive, cultural and educational sharing of ideas and experiences for attendees. Our theme this year is “Pass It On: Lessons Learned from Our Ancestors.”

African American Read-in
Maucker Union and Rod Library, 1227 W 27th St, Cedar Falls, IA
Thursday, February 22, 9:30 am – 1:30 pm  

Speakers: Dr. Tiffany Flowers and Don Tate




African-American Read-In: A Community Celebration of African-American Authors
Kent County Public Library, Chestertown Branch, 408 High Street, Chestertown, MD
Saturday,    |  10am

Join us for a community celebration of African-American authors! All ages are welcome.




Worcester State University African-American Read-In 
May Street Building, 486 Chandler Street, Worcester, MA
February 7, 2018; 10:30 a.m. 

Worcester State University cordially invites you to African American Read-In Day with WSU alumna Susan Harris O’Connor, MSW, LICSW .This event is free and open to the public.




African American Read-In Book Discussions
Farmington Branch – Liberty Street, Farmington, MI

Teen Book Discussion
Thursday, February 8, 2018 // 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

We’ve chosen The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas for the teen book discussion; we hope you’ll join us!

Kids Book Discussion
Thursday, February 1, 2018 // 6:30 p.m. to 7:30pm

Celebrate Black History Month by joining other kids in grades K-6 to learn about and discuss past and present African American children’s authors and illustrators. We will divide this discussion group into grades K-2 and 3-6.

Adult Book Discussion
Thursday, February 15, 2018 // 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Join other adults to discuss Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson.


New Jersey


Reading Fortune: A Voice for the Ages
Red Bank Public Library, Red Bank, NJ
Wednesday, February 21,
2018 // 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The T. Thomas Fortune Foundation presents “Reading Fortune: A Voice for the Ages,” on Wednesday, February 21, in conjunction with the Red Bank Public Library, as part of the 2018 African American Read-In, in honor of Black History Month. The doors will open at 6 p.m. for a meet and greet reception, with the presentation starting at 7 p.m. Fortune’s notable rise as an African American journalist, during the 19th and 20th Centuries, and as a social justice trailblazer, will be brought to life through his poetry, prose, letters, excerpts of speeches and editorials. Community members, along with youth from the New Jersey Orators will present the works of Fortune, such as letters corresponding with President Theodore Roosevelt and the African American leader, Booker T. Washington, and other writings that profoundly relate to the cultural attitudes, citizenry and resistance of “We the People,” Today!

Montclair Public Library African-American Read-In 
Main Library, 50 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair, NJ 
Thursday, February 8, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm 

We invite everyone to celebrate African American authors by participating in our second African American Read-In! Choose your favorite passage from a book, poem, or speech by an African American and sign up for a two-minute time slot to read your chosen piece aloud. Join us as we come together to read, hear, and shine a spotlight on African American literature.

Please email to sign up and submit your reading.

To attend without reading a passage, please register below or call 973-744-0500 ext. 2235.

Willingboro Public Library with the African American Read In Chain
220 Willingboro Parkway, Willingboro, NJ(inside the Willingboro Town Center Complex)
Sunday, February 4, 2 p.m. 

Celebrate African American literary creativity at Willingboro Public Library with the African American Read In Chain on Sun., Feb. 4 at 2 p.m. Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority will share their favorite readings with the public in this free program for all ages. Refreshments will be served.


New York


Twenty-fifth annual African American Read-in Chain
Monday, February 5 at 12:30-1:30 PM EST
Reception Room in Kellenberg Hall, 1000 Hempstead Avenue, Rockville Centre, NY

The Molloy College English Department celebrates Black History Month by reading and discussing poems by contemporary African American poets. For more information, contact Trish O’Neill at 516.323.3260


North Carolina


29th Annual National African American Read-In
Knightdale Public Safety Building, Knightdale, NC
Saturday, February 3rd, 2018 // 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

We invite you and your family to share an afternoon of history, books, fellowship, and fun as we celebrate African American Literature during Black History Month. Join us!

2018 African-American Read-In: For the Love of Diversity & Literacy
February 12 – February 15, 2018 // Various times and locations

Sampson County Schools Upward Bound students are pleased to partner with the Sampson County Public Libraries for the 2018 African-American Read-In: For the Love of Diversity & Literacy ! Join us as our students read works highlighting the contributions of African-Americans! #SCSUpwardBound18


Belk Library Celebrates Diversity: African American Read-In

Join us at Belk Library as we celebrate Black History Month with an African American Read-In.
Belk Library Atrium, 218 College Street • PO Box 32026 • Boone, NC 
February 5, 2018, 11:30am – 1:30pm

You are invited to come and read literature, poetry, etc. by an African American author. Bring one of your favorites or we’ll have some to choose from. Contact Jennifer Natale, for more information.

African American Read-In
Southern Pines Library, 170 West Connecticut Avenue Southern Pines, NC
Thursday, February 1, 2018, 5:00 PM  7:00 PM

A meet & greet reception and light refreshments will be served from 5-5:30 pm. We invite students, families, and community members of all ages to select a short work or excerpt from a piece of literature (speech, letter, poem, play, story or novel) from their favorite African American author to read aloud at our read-in. If you are interested in participating, please call or come by the library to sign up.




29th annual African American Read-In Chain
Penn State, Altoona, PA
February 11–12, 2018

This year’s theme is African Diaspora Writers in the U.S. Contemporary African authors living and writing in the United States have introduced different voices and dialogues into the larger American experience in their poetry, fiction, memoirs, and dramatic texts. Being African and American at the same time, these writers have a stake in the wellbeing of their homelands, and their hearts are still connected to Africa.


6th Annual National African American Literature Read-In
Kutztown University, Kutztown, PA
Thursday, February 15, 2018 // 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

This event will include poetry readings, historical and literary speakers, and a short work of Black American Literature of your choice. Food and beverage will be provided.  This 6 hour event, beginning at 4 p.m. at which time attendees are welcome to come and go as is convenient to your schedule and is open to all students, staff, faculty, administrators, and the general public.

29th Annual African American Read-In
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Homewood Branch, Pittsburgh, PA
Saturday, February 3, 2018 // 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
This event is sponsored by the United Black Book Clubs of Pittsburgh. This year’s celebration marks the return of members of the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation as hosts. Join them as they read and invite the community to share works of African, African American and Caribbean authors in the open read-in.




African American Read-in Winter Book Drive
Onesimo Hernandez Elementary School, Dallas, TX
The book drive will take place from December 1, 2017 – February 1, 2018.

Books will be given to students during the Dallas ISD African American Read-In.


African American Read-In
Carrollton Public Library, Carrollton, TX
Sunday, February 11, 2018 // 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Bring the whole family! All are welcome to learn about African American authors, stories, poems, and songs. Special guests will read selections aloud for the audience. Free books will be given away to children and teens. This program is presented by Professional Achievers for Community Excellence (PACE). Light refreshments will be provided.


CFBISD’s 3rd Annual African-American Read-In
Barbara Bush Middle School, Irving, TX
Tuesday, February 6, 6:00 p.m.

The directors of English language arts and reading, invite you, your students, and staffs to join us for CFB’s third annual African American Read-In, which will be held at Barbara Bush Middle School on Tuesday, February 6, at 6:00 p.m.  Please bring one of your favorite selections written by an African American author to read or perform at this event.




National African American Read-In
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA
Thursday, February 22, 2018 // 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 

Celebrate Black History Month! As a part of the 28th annual National African American Read-In, leaders from the community share African and African American literature related to works in the permanent collection.

Cascades Library African American Read-In
21030 Whitfield Pl, Potomac Falls, VA 
Saturday, February 17, 12:00-3:00 p.m.