African American Read-In Comes Packed With Meaning


Tyrone Whitted Jr.

A Man reading at GSU’s African American Read-In

Tyrone Whitted Jr, Photographer & Staff Writer

“Without education, you are not going anywhere in this world.” – Malcolm X 

Many stories carry a heavy lesson or show how harsh the outside world and the people can sometimes be. Some stories tell a brief yet relatable history of one’s lifestyle; other stories present the reader with the character(s) point of view. But, the whole point of telling relatable stories is for the reader to take these lessons they’ve read and carry them into their daily lives.  

Tyrone Whitted Jr.
A Man reading at GSU’s African American Read-In

During the 31st Annual African American Read-In, there were plenty of stories. 

Tyrone Whitted Jr.
A student reading from a text at the African American Read-In

On Feb 19, Dr. Rashidah Jaami’ Muhammad hosted this year’s Read-In at the Hall of Honors. Before the event began, the room filled up with numerous students and professors who had a passage of a book or poetry which they wanted to share with the audience.  

When sign-up was completed, the audience was treated to a few minutes of flute music before the readings began. 

The Hall of Honors was practically filled with people wanting to share their stories and poems, most of which were invited by Dr. Muhammad such as the student senate of arts and science, and her grandson, Kevlin Muhammad-Conner. There were many great stories that both students and professors told, though there were a couple of stories and poetry that stood out from the rest such as “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar, “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou, and a personal take on Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit”.  

Overall, the was a huge success, with one of the students who was familiar of the event even complimenting on the fact that there were a lot more people than at last year’s Read-In. It wasn’t hard to see why, with dozens of people lining up to read what they all had prepared.  

Many people shared stories that illustrated the harsh reality that society had to overcome, especially minorities. But despite all the passages about the lynching, the violence, and every cruel and twisted event that African Americans had to endure, they told their stories so that ours and future generations won’t ever go through those dark times again.