By: Andrew A. Lee
On February 7th 2012, the African American Culture Club presided by Seniors Meriah Porter and Montego Dubose in association with Mrs. Helms, Mr. Carlson and many more organized the 2012 Centennial Annual Black Writers Read In. The Read in was a chance for Centennial Students from all over to get involved and celebrate Black History Month by immersing themselves in African American culture as they read and learn about poetry by influential Black Writers such as Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, and Annie Ruth.
Not only was the Read-In a good way to learn about black literature, it also was a great oppurtunity for people to really show who they are and express themselves. “My Poem is called Don’t Quit.” remarks Clorisa Mainor. “It’s encouragement. Many people need it. I don’t know who needs the encouragement, but as far as I am concerned everyone in high school can get something out of this poem. Everyone is going through something different. But people just need to stick it out.”
Also the event was not just limited to poetry reading. During the event readers read excerpts from books, plays, rap lyrics and even songs to really show what it means to be an African American. Carmon Jackson decided to sing the Black national anthem as opposed to reading poetry because “I love to sing, and I feel like I can express myself better through singing.”
Mrs. Helms, one of school’s librarians, who has helped organized the event for almost 20 years, commented on the event saying that “This has been one of the best Black Writers read-ins ever, and I have been doing it for 20 years. Overall, a lot of people participated, the students picked pieces that really related to them, their voices were heard, even though that they were originally the voices of other writers.”