BPL to Host Read-In for Justice Black History Month Program on February 20


By Gelenda Norman| Central Library Youth Department

The Birmingham Public Library’s Read-In for Justice will return in February by celebrating the theme of 2021 Black History Month: “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity.” 

Join us virtually, via BPL Facebook Live, at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 20, 2021. 

This virtual program, entitled “Read-In for Justice: A Poetic Look at the Black Family,” will embark upon a poetic journey that will highlight and celebrate the beauty and richness of the African-American family and its heritage. Readers representing multiple generations will lend their voices to works written by African American poets, past and present, as well as themselves. 

The program is funded by a grant BPL received in the fall 2020 from “Lift Every Voice: The Nationwide Celebration of 250 Years of African American Poetry”. 

This award allowed BPL to host two virtual programs, Read-In for Justice (10:00 a.m. Saturday, February 20) and Bards & Brews (6:00 p.m. Friday, February 5). 

Lift Every Voice is a national public humanities initiative that engages participants in a multifaceted exploration of African American poetry, the perspectives it offers on American history and the struggle for racial justice, and the universality of its imaginative response to the personal experiences of Black Americans over three centuries. Click here for details (https://www.africanamericanpoetry.org

 About Read-In for Justice

 BPL created Read-In for Justice in June 2020 in response to the racial injustice firestorm caused by the death of George Floyd. Held four times between June 27 and September 12, 2020, Read-In for Justice allows Birmingham area storytellers to voice their frustration by reading books written by people of color. This monthly event has been viewed thousands of times on Facebook, attracting individuals of all races eager to speak out against racism.

Hosted via Facebook Live by BPL Outreach Librarian Candice Hardy, Read-In for Justice has expanded beyond authors reading books on race and social justice. The August program, Let the Children Speak, featured three poetry camp teens sharing original poems inspired by the Birmingham civil rights documentary, “Mighty Times: The Children’s March.” In September, BPL hosted Read In for Justice: Hispanic Heritage Month, featuring books written by Latino authors, including some read in Spanish. 

To get an idea of what to expect at Read-In for Justice, click on the links below to four programs  that aired last year on the BPL Facebook page:

Read in for Justice June 27, 2020 

Read in for Justice: July 11, 2020

Read in for Justice: Let the Children Speak August 8, 2020

Read in for Justice: Hispanic Heritage Month, September 12, 2020