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Springfield Celebrating Black History Month with Graphic Novel Read-In

Book Cover of "March" a Graphic Novel by Congressman John Lewis

  Local schools and organizations are putting together multiple ways to celebrate Black History Month, which is in February. One of those programs is the fifth annual National African American Read-In, which involves community members enjoying the same book or film, then discussing it together. And this year, the book that they have chosen to highlight is a graphic novel. KSMU’s Shannon Bowers has more.

This year, the program focuses on young adults.  It will feature two films and the graphic novel “March,” as well as a Skype interview with the novel's author, Congressman John Lewis.

Dr. Grace Jackson-Brown is the chair of the Read-In Committee and a professor at Missouri State University.

“As far as when we came to Missouri State University, we were only a handful of African American faculty. Since we have been here, we have seen the growth in African American faculty and also African American students,” said Jackson-Brown.

The theme for next month’s series of events, “Civil Rights in America: How Far Have We Come?” came about because she felt student did not have enough background knowledge about the Civil Rights Movement.

“My hope is that (again) we have an audience that is diverse because then it allows people to come together and learn and appreciate one another more. And it helps us learn about history that has affected the county and how we live today,” said Jackson-Brown.

The 2014 Springfield African American Read-In begins February 3rd with a film presentation and discussion at MSU.  The graphic novel and interview with Congressman Lewis is scheduled for February 10th.

For KSMU News, I’m Shannon Bowers.


 Events Planned for Read-In 

Feb. 3, 2014

  Film and Discussion on  Eyes on the Prize, Episode 2, Fighting Back, 1957 , 7:30pm-9:30pm, MSU Meyer Library, 101 Discussion Facilitator, Dr. Gilbert Brown, Associate Dean, MSU College of Education 

Feb 10, 2014

Congressman John Lewis will be guest on Skype Interview and will discuss his latest book, March, a graphic novel memoir about his life co- authored with Nate Powell and Andrew Aydin, 10am until 12noon, CSTCarnegie Midtown Public Library, Springfield                                  

Panel of youth book-talk reviewers from 4-As Central High School will present book highlights and will ask Congressman Lewis questions  along with general audience, Anchor Host, Dr. Grace Jackson-Brown, MSU Library Science Department

Feb. 17, 2014

Film and Discussion, 3:00pm-5:00pm, Bartley-Decatur Center Eyes on the Prize, Episode 4, No Easy Walk, 1962 – 1966 Film Discussion Facilitator, Christy Hyman, MSU History Instructor

Feb. 24, 2014 

AARI Finale Program, 7:00pm-8:30pm, Library Station, SpringfieldMusic by Pipkin Middle School Choir; Skit based on theme of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. performed by Springfield youth, and dramatic reading of excerpts from “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” by Dr.   Martin Luther King, Jr. read by Mr. Lyle Foster, MSU Instructor and Springfield Businessman