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 and coordinating Read-Ins in their communities. Hosting a Read-In can be as simple as bringing together family and friends to share a book, or as elaborate as arranging public readings and media presentations that feature professional African American writers.
To be counted as participants, simply:
- Select books authored by African Americans;
- Hold your event during the month of February; and
- Report your results by submitting the 2012 African American Read-In Host Report Card.
You must submit a separate Host Report Card for each Read-In held.
In 1990, the first African American Read-In was sponsored by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English. In 1991, the National Council of Teachers of English joined in the sponsorship. The Read- In has been endorsed by the International Reading Association. Over a million readers of all ethnic groups, from 48 states, the District of Columbia, the West Indies, and African countries have participated. The goal is to make the celebration of African American literacy a traditional part of Black History Month activities.
Some Recommended Texts for Read Aloud
Adedjouma, Davida, (Ed.). 1996. The Palm of My Heart: Poetry by African American Children. Illustrated by Gregory Christie. New York: Lee & Low.
Angelou, Maya. 1993. Life Doesn't Frighten Me. Paintings by Jean-Michele Basquiat. NY: Stewart, Tabori and Chang.
Brooks, Gwendolyn. 2007. Bronzeville Boys and Girls. Illustrated by Faith Ringgold. NY: Amistad.
Clifton, Lucille. 1988. Everett Anderson's Goodbye. Illustrated by Ann Grifalconi.NY: Holt.
Cooper, Melrose. 1998. Gettin' Through Thursday. Illustrated by Nneka Bennett. NY: Lee & Low Books.
Danticat, Edwidge. 2010. Eight Days: A Story of Haiti. Illustrated by Alix Delinois. NY: Orchard Books.
Elliot, Zeta. 2008. Bird. Illustrated by Shadra Strickland.NY: Lee & Low Books.
Frame, Jeron Ashford. 2003. Yesterday I Had the Blues. Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. Berkeley, CA: Tricycle.
Giovanni, Nikki. 2005. Rosa. Illustrated by Brian Collier. NY: Henry Holt.
Greenfield, Eloise. 2009. Paul Robeson. Illustrated by George Ford. New York: Lee and Low.
Greenfield. Eloise. 2006. When The Horses Ride By: Children in the Time of War. Illustrated by Jan Gilchrist. NY: Lee & Low.
Grimes, Nikki, 2008. Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope. Illustrated by Bryan Collier. NY: Simon & Schuster.
Grimes, Nikki. 2003. Talkin’ About Bessie. Illustrated by E.B. Lewis. NY: Orchard.
Grimes, Nikki. 2001. Danitra Brown Leaves Town. Illustrated by Floyd Cooper. NY: Amistad.
Grimes, Nikki. 2001. A pocketful of poems. Illustrated by Javaka Steptoe. New York: Clarion.
Gunning, Monica. 1999. Not a Copper Penny in Me House: Poems from the Caribbean. Illustrated by Frane Lessac. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.
Hamilton, Virginia. 2000. The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales. Illustrated by Leo & Diane Dillon and James Earl Jones. NY: Scholastic.
Hubbard, Crystal. 2008. The Last Black King of the Kentucky Derby: The Story of Jimmy Winkfield. Illustrated by Ribert McGuire. New York: Lee and Low Books.
Issa, Kai Jackson. 2008. Howard Thurman's Great Hope. Illustrated by Arthur L Dawson. New York: Lee and Low Books.
Johnson, Angela. 2007. Wind Flyers. Illustrated by Loren Long. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Johnson, Lynn. 1996. A Wave in Her Pocket: Six Stories from Trinidad. Illustrated by Brian Pinkney.
Lyons, Mary E. 2005. Roy Makes a Car. Illustrated by Terry Widener. NY: Atheneum.
Medina. Tony. 2002. Love to Langston. Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. NY: Lee & Low Books.
Queen Latifah. 2006. Queen on the Scene. Illustrated by Frank Morrison. NY: Harper Collins.
Rappaport, Doreen. 2005. The School Is Not White! A True Story of the Civil Rights Movement. Illustrated by Curtis James. NY: Jump at the Sun.
Ringgold, Faith. 1998. My Dream of Martin Luther King. NY Dragonfly Books.
Shange, Ntozake. 2004. Ellington Was Not a Street. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Steptoe, Javaka. 2001. In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers. NY: Lee & Low Books.
Thomas, Joyce Carol. 2008. The Blacker the Berry. Illustrated by Floyd Cooper. NY: Amistad.
Thomas, Joyce Carol. 1995. Brown Honey in Broomwheat Tea. Illustrated by Floyd Cooper. NY: Harper Collins.
Van Dyke, Henry. 1896/2007. The Other Wise Man. Illustrated by Robert Barrett. NY: Ideals Children's books.
Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2007. Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins. Illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue. NY: Puffin.
Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2006. Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson. NY: Hyperion.
Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2001. Sidewalk Chalk: Poems of the City. Illustrated by Dimitrea Tokumbo. Honesdale, PA: Boyds MIlls Press.
Woodson, Jacqueline. 2010. Peace, Locomotion. (reprint ed.) NY: Speak.
Woodson, Jacqueline. 2007. Locomotion. (reprint ed.) NY: Speak.
Yarbrough, Camille. 1997. Cornrows. Illustrated by Carol Byard. NY: Putnam.
Clinton, Catherine. (Ed.). 1998. I, Too, Sing America: Three Centuries of African American Poetry. Illustrated by Stephen Alcorn. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Curtis, Christopher Paul. 1995. The Watson's Go to Birmingham. 1963. NY: Delacort.
Danticat, Edwidge. 2002. Behind the Mountains. NY: Scholastic.
Elliot, Zeta. 2010. A Wish After Midnight. NY: Amazon Encore.
Giovanni, Nikki (Ed). 1996. Shimmy Shimmy Shimmy Like My Sister Kate: Looking at the Harlem Renaissance through Poetry. NY: Henry Holt.
Hughes, Langston. 2007. The Dream Keepers and Other Poems. Illustrated by Brian Pinkney. NY: Knopf Books.
Jacobs, Harriet. 1861/2001. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. NY: Dover.
Lester, Julius. 2007. Days of Tears: A Novel in Dialogue. NY: Hyperion.
McKissack, Patricia C. 2001. The Dark Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural. Illustrated by Brian Pinkney. NY: Yearling.
Nelson, Marilyn. 2002. Carver: A Life in Poems. Asheville, NC: Front Street.
Nelson, Marilyn. 2004. Fortune's Bones: The Manumission Requiem. Asheville, NC: Front Street.
Nelson, Marilyn. 2005. A Wreath for Emmett Till. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Neri.G. 2007. Chess Rumble. NY: Lee & Low Books.
Parks, Gordon. 1987. The Learning Tree. NY: Fawcett.
Sanders, Dori. 1991. Clover. NY: Ballantine.
Shange, Ntozake. 1994. I Live in Music. Paintings by Romare Bearden. NY: Welcome Books.
Smith, Charles R. 2007. Hoop Queens. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick.
Smith, Charles. R. 2007. Twelve Rounds to Glory: The Story of Muhammad Ali. Illustrated by Bryan Collier. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press.
Smith, Hope Anita. 2009. Mother Poems. NY: Henry Holt.
Smith, Hope Anita. 2003. The Way a Door Closes. Illustrated by Shane W. Evans. NY: Henry Holt.
Taylor, Mildred. 1976. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. NY: Dial.
Walker, Alice. 2007. Why War is Never a Good Idea. Illustrated by Stefano Vitale. New York: HarperCollins.
Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2005. Birmingham, 1963. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong.
Williams, Mary. 2005. Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan. Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. NY: Lee & Low Books.
Williams-Garcia, Rita. 2010. One Crazy Summer. NY: Amistad.
Woodson, Jacqueline. 2010. Miracle Boys. (reprint ed.) NY: Speak.
Woodson, Jacqueline. 2010. After Tupac and D Foster. (reprint ed.) NY: Speak.
Angelou, Maya. 2009. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. NY: Ballantine.
Baldwin, James. 1953/1985. Go Tell it on the Mountain. NY:Dell.
Baraka, Amiri. 1999. The LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka Reader. NY: Basic Books.
Brooks, Gwendolyn. 2006. Selected Poems. NY: Harper.
Chestnut, Charles W. 1880/2010. The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories. NY: Book Jungle.
Clifton, Lucille. 2000. Blessing the Boats: New and selected Poems 1988-2000. NY: BOA.
Clifton, Lucille. 1974. An Ordinary Woman: Poems. NY: Random House.
Countee, Cullen (Ed.). 1998. Caroling Dusk: An Anthology of Verse by Black Poets of the Twenties. NY: Citadel.
Dove, Rita. 1999. On the Bus with Rosa Parks. NY: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
Dove, Rita. 1995. Mother Love. NY: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
Douglass, Frederick. 1845/2011. The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. NY: Tribeca Books.
DuBois, W. E. B. 1903/2005. The Souls of Black Folks. NY: Simon & Schuster.
Dunbar, Paul Laurence. 2005. The Sports of the Gods and Other Essential Writings. NY: Modern Library.
Ellison, Ralph. 1995. Invisible Man, 2nd Ed.. NY: Vintage.
Fisher, Antwone Q. 2010. A Boy Should Know How to Tie a Tie: and Other Lessons for Succeeding for Life. NY: Touchstone.
Fuller, Charles. H. 1982. A Soldier's Play. NY: Hill and Wang.
Giovanni, Nikki. 2007. The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni: 1968-1998. NY: Harper.
Grimes, Nikki. 2007. Dark Sons. NY: Jump at the Sun.
hooks, bell. 1997. Bone Black: Memories of a Girlhood. NY: Holt.
Hurston, Zora Neale. 2006. Their Eyes were Watching God. NY: Harper.
Johnson, Angela. 2000. The Other Side: Shorter Poems. NY: Orchard Books.
Jordan, June. 1995. June Jordan’s Poetry for the People: A Revolutionary Blueprint. NY: Routledge.
King, Martin Luther, Jr. 1990. A Testament of Hope: The Essential writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King Jr. NY: Harper.
Komunyakaa, Yusef. 2009. Warhorses: Poems. NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Kushner, Tony. 1993. Angels in America: Part One: Millennium Approaches. NY: Theater Communications Group.
Lorde, Audre. 2000. The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde. NY: W.W. Norton.
Morrison, Toni. 2009. A Mercy. NY: Vintage.
Morrison, Toni. 2008. What Moves at the Margins: Selected Nonfiction. Jackson, MI: University Press of Mississippi.
Myers, Walter Dean. 2007. Street Love. NY: Amistad.
Myers,Walter Dean. 2004. Here in Harlem: Poems in Many Voices. NY: Holiday House.
Naylor, Glora. 1993. Bailey's Cafe. NY: Vintage.
Naylor, Glora. 1983. The Woman of Brewster Place. NY: Penguin.
Obama, Barack. 2007. Dreams of My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. NY: Crown.
Okutoro, Lydia (Ed.). 2002. Quiet Storm: Voices of Young Black Poets. NY: Jump at the Sun.
Petry, Ann. 1953/2008. The Narrows. NY: Dafina Books.
Reed, Ishmael. 2007. New and Collected Poems: 1964-2007. NY: DeCapo Press.
Robeson, Paul. 1998. Here I Stand. Boston: Beacon Press.
Shange, Ntozake. 2010. Some Sing, Some Cry. NY: St. Martin's Press.
Smiley, Tavis. 2002. Keeping the Faith: Stories of Love, Courage, Healing, and Hope from Black America. NY: Doubleday.
Sundiata, Sekou. 2000. Long Short Story. Righteous Babe.
Sundiata, Sekou. 1997. Blue Oneness of Dreams. Polygram Records.
Toomer, Jean. 1987. Cane. NY: Norton.
Troupe, Quincy. 2002. Tricircularities: New and Selected Poems. St. Paul, MN: Coffee House Press.
Tutu, Desmond. 1994. The Rainbow People of God: The Making of a Peaceful Revolution. NY: Doubleday.
Van Dyke, Henry. 2010. The Mansion. Readaclassic.com
Walcott, Derek. 2010. White Egrets. NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
West, Cornel. 2008. Hope on a Tightrope: Words and Wisdom. Carlsbad, CA: HayHouse.
Wilson, August. 1988. Joe Turner's Come and Gone. NY: Plume.
Wright, Richard. 1938/2008. Uncle Tom's Children. NY: Harper.
X, Malcolm. 1992. By Any Means Necessary. NY: Pathfinder.
Young, Al. 2007. Something About the Blues. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks MediaFusion.