African American Read-In Chain Set for Feb. 4

Issue Date: 
January 29, 2007

Ogle Duff, emerita professor in Pitt’s School of Education, will coordinate the 18th annual African American Read-In Chain at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 4 in the First Baptist Church library, 159 N. Bellefield Ave., Oakland. The event is free and open to the public.

Richard Chapple, professor of homiletics at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, will give several readings from African American sermons and describe the history of each sermon. Chapple will read a sermon from William Orlando Carrington, titled “Building Tomorrow’s World Today,” and from James Earl Massey, titled “Songs in the Night.”

Jack Hedenberg, First Baptist Church archivist, will read a letter written by Frederick Douglass. Pitt faculty, staff, and students will participate in reading African American literature along with members of the church. The First Baptist Church Choir also will perform.

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 or two to read African American literature or make a community effort by holding group readings.

Hosting a Read-In can be as simple as bringing together a group of family and friends to share a book. In addition, professional organizations, businesses, churches, libraries, and bookstores are urged to host Read-Ins in order to cultivate a greater appreciation for African American literature. Teachers and schools will participate on Feb. 5.

Duff has organized the First Baptist Church’s Read-In since the event’s inception 18 years ago and tracks the number of local participants. After Feb. 4, please report individual or community readings and the number attending to Duff at 412-681-2956 or

The Read-In is sponsored by The Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English.