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Black History Month readings encourage to students to reflect and remember

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Ever since early February, several black and white posters with the words ‘Make Literacy part of Black History Month’ in bold letters have been scattered everywhere around Hayfield, inviting students to join the African American readings that are hosted from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. after school, led by high school English teacher Kristine Long.

“A lot of different people are reading poetry–typically by African American authors–and these poems really show the African American experience through the different time periods of American history,” Long said. “Sometimes, people are even writing their own poems that celebrate black history and African American achievement.”

These meetings also include guest speakers, the most recent being Associate Principal Alfonso Smith. These guest speakers do their own reading of various history books and share their opinions and thoughts, engaging in discussion with students, who then engage in discussions of their own about what they’ve read or written.

“These books or poems reveal things about the African American experience, thoughts, feelings and perceptions. Sometimes it’s humorous, and sometimes it’s expressed through rage or frustration and sometimes even love,” Mrs. Long said.

February is a month for remembrance and reflection regarding African American history for everyone; that can mean expressing feelings and thoughts in a creative way, exactly what the Black History poetry readings are meant for. The club is an outlet for students, and it encourages people to express what they feel in a healthy way while also remembering the people who deserve to be honored.

The next meeting is going to be held tomorrow, Feb. 28, after school at 3 p.m. Students who participate will enjoy poetry from the Harlem Renaissance, book chats and prose by African American authors, while also getting extra credit in their English classes and having a chance of winning gift cards in a raffle.

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