University of Pittsburgh
January 10, 2001


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 11 -- Share the rich legacy of African-American authors and gain a greater appreciation of African-American literature, when University of Pittsburgh education Professor Ogle Duff hosts the local effort of the national "African-American Read-In Chain" on Sunday, Feb. 4, at 4 p.m. EST, in the library of the First Baptist Church on Bellefield and Bayard Streets, Oakland.

"This is an opportunity for everyone to participate in a positive reading experience at the church or with their own group such as the Girl Scouts, a literary group, or family and friends," said Duff. "The goal is to have 1 million people across the country devoting an hour to reading the works of either local or national African-American writers."

The event, part of a national effort to promote racial harmony, is free and open to the public. Duff, who keeps track of the number of local participants, has organized the local church Read-In since its inception 12 years ago. Those interested in participating can call Duff to volunteer as a reader, come as a listener, or form their own group at another location. Reading materials can be obtained at local libraries or bookstores.

Schools, community and professional organizations, businesses, churches, libraries, bookstores, and interested citizens are urged to make literacy a significant part of Black History Month by hosting and coordinating Read-Ins in their communities. People across the nation can participate on Sunday, Feb. 4. Teachers may join in the program by holding a Read-In in their classrooms on Monday, Feb. 5.

The Read-In is sponsored by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English. For more information about the Read-In, holding your own reading, recommendations on reading selections, volunteering to read at the church, or to register, contact Duff at 412-648-7194.