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March 1, 2015

Blair holds National African-American Read-In

by Arthi Vijaykumar, Staff Writer
On Feb. 24, Blair hosted its second National African-American Read-In in honor of Black History Month. The event, created by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), is meant to honor and celebrate African American literature.

This year, the event was organized by media specialist Andrea Lamphier and social studies teacher Kenneth Smith. During eighth period, students in Smith's African-American Studies class made posters, brochures and tabletop book displays honoring various African-American authors and books. Other eighth-period classes were invited to participate in reading and checking out the chosen books. "I'd say my class set the atmosphere for the event," Smith said.
A student-made book display. Connor Smith
A student-made book display.

Both Lamphier and Smith stressed the importance of having an event honoring African-American authors. "It's important to harken back to the time when African-American writers came into prominence," Lamphier said. "Students need to understand the importance of African-American literature throughout the civil rights movement." Smith agreed with Lamphier's sentiments. "We wanted to expose others to the amount of African-American literature available in the media center," he said.

Sophomore Aidan Kimani is one of the students in Smith's African-American Studies class who helped to put together the event. Kimani designed an online quiz highlighting important African-American figures throughout history. "I learned that while a lot of people know about African-American history, there's a lot of people who don't," Kimani said. "I hope to teach other students about the iconic people who led the movement towards equality."

Smith and Lamphier believed the event was a success this year, and plan to hold it again in the future. "This was only our second year and we had a great turnout," Smith said. "Each year is a learning opportunity to improve on the next year."



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