All members of the Shorecrest community were invited to celebrate the literary achievements of Black authors by listening to and participating in the 2022 Black Authors Read-In. The open mic event spanned the school day, and was held on the Landy Deck on February 17.
This nationally recognized event was presented in concert with the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), who established the National African American Read-In in 1990 to make literacy a significant part of Black History Month.
“The National African American Read-In is an event that I learned about through interaction with the NCTE and facilitated for almost a decade when teaching on the college level," explained Upper School English Teacher Heather Elouej. "I thought the Read-In would be a powerful event to bring to the Shorecrest community. The Upper School English department has made a serious commitment to exploring works by a diverse group of artists with our students; this Read-In was one way to make that commitment more visible.”
“I was pleasantly surprised to hear student work read at the event - poems that showcased some of the major talent we have in our creative writers. Particularly, two poems written and read by Ousman Joof ‘25 and a poem by an anonymous Shorecrest student read by Kristie Dowling of the [Upper School] English department, literally brought tears to my eyes,” Elouej shared.
Data from the Shorecrest event was sent to the NCTE to be included in their national registry: 139 works by 55 authors were read by 97 readers, including students, faculty and staff.
Elouej plans to host this event annually during Black History Month and coordinate other events that showcase artists of varying backgrounds.