University of Pittsburgh
January 17, 2006

17th National African American Read-In Chain to Be Held Feb. 5

The University of Pittsburgh's Ogle Burks Duff will coordinate the Read In, and Robert Hill, Pitt vice chancellor for public affairs, will read from Berry Gordy Jr.'s autobiography, To Be Loved: The Music, The Magic, The Memories of Motown
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Ogle Burks Duff, emerita professor in the University of Pittsburgh School of Education, will once again coordinate the 17th Annual African American Read-In Chain, from 3 to 5 p.m. Feb. 5, in the First Baptist Church main sanctuary, 159 N. Bellefield Ave., Oakland. Richard Teaster will direct a combined First Baptist Church Choir and Pitt Women's Chorale and Glee Club, starting at 2:45 p.m., which will perform intermittently throughout the readings. This event is free and open to the public.

Robert Hill, Pitt vice chancellor for public affairs, will be reading selections from To Be Loved: The Music, The Magic, The Memories of Motown (Warner Books, 1994), the autobiography of Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. Other readers, including Pitt faculty and Black Greek-lettered organizations and members of the church, are requested to select pieces, which will reflect and exemplify this year's theme, "Giving Voice to Justice." Those interested in giving a church reading can call 412-621-0500 before Jan. 23 and leave a message stating your name, telephone number, and proposed author and title of work.

The national African American Read-In Chain takes place every February in recognition of Black History Month. People across the nation are encouraged to take an hour to read African American literature or to make a community effort by holding group readings. In addition, professional organizations, teachers, businesses, churches, libraries, and bookstores are urged to host Read-Ins in order to cultivate a greater appreciation for African American literature. Schools across the United States will participate in this project on the following Monday.

The Read-In is sponsored by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English. For more information about participating in the Read-In, holding your own reading, receiving recommendations on reading selections, volunteering to read at the church, or registering, contact Duff. She has organized the First Baptist Church's Read-In since its inception and tracks the number of local participants. After Feb. 5, please report individual or community readings and the number attending (other than those at the First Baptist Church) to Duff at 412-681-2956.