Humanities & Fine Arts Division hosts 9th African-American Read-In 

Judson College’s Humanities & Fine Arts Division hosted the College’s 9th annual African-American Read-In on February 18 in Ramsay-McCrummen Chapel.

The Read-In was part of a national initiative of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) that celebrates the voices of African American writers, artists, visionaries, and trailblazers, whose selected works are read or performed aloud.

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Dr. Laura Crawford, Chair of the Humanities Division, opened the Judson College event with an observation from Toni Morrison: “Race is the least reliable information you can have about someone. It’s real information, but it tells you next to nothing.” Crawford said, “The composers, thinkers, and writers that we’re celebrating here tonight have something in common: they are all Americans of African descent, and that’s real information, because black experience in the United States has come with unique burdens and unique insights. But that’s not enough information. And that’s also why we’re here tonight–to let a wide variety of people offer their own particular gifts in their own particular artistic voices.”

Participants in this year’s Read-In shared texts from writers and artists including Maya Angelou, Deborah Roberts, William Apess, Howard Thurman, Gil Scott Heron, Phyllis Wheatley, and Bryan Stevenson. The Judson Singers shared musical performances of “Duerme Negrito”, written by Atahualpa Yupanqui and arranged by Emile Sole, and “Nigra Sum” by Pablo Casals. The Read-In also featured a dramatic presentation of James Weldon Johnson’s “The Creation”, directed by Dr. Billie Jean Young, Associate Professor of Fine and Performing Arts and Artist-in-Residence.

For more information about Judson’s Read-In, contact Dr. Laura Crawford, Assistant Professor of English, at 334-683-5160.