High school students from East Tennessee Schools participated in the third African-American Read-In at the University of Tennessee. The event was one of many read-ins across the country sponsored by the black caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English and the International Literacy Association.

African-American Read-In“We just try to create a space where people can come in and listen, or read and hear the words of just amazing African-American authors all day long,” said associate professor Susan Groenke. She is the organizer of the event.

Maryville High School sent 29 senior Advanced Placement English students to participate during their usual class time.

“I thought they would appreciate coming to a college campus and being around thinkers, and hearing a lot of diverse readings from people who are performing the literature they feel is interesting and enriching,” said their teacher, Rachel Rushworth-Hollander.

During the event, students selected a book by an African-American author and read it out loud in front of a crowded common area at the John C. Hodges Library

“I think it’s very important to read, to give space to read and hear these works, and to acknowledge that there’s more to African-American literature than the stuff that just focuses on slavery or focuses on the struggle,” said Vincent Price, a Ph.D. student studying English education.

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