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“Standing in the Shadows,” Focus of African American Read-In

  • Friday, February 1, 2008

    Standing in the Shadows(1)PRINCESS ANNE, MD - An evolving, literary tradition continues at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore with the sixth annual African American Read-in on Tuesday, February 5, at 7 p.m. in the Student Services Center theatre. UMES commences this year's nationally recognized African American Read-in on Monday, February 4, as the UMES Frederick Douglass Library invites the public to visit the library from 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. to peruse, read and enjoy its collection of 5,000 titles by African American authors. 

    President Thelma B. Thompson invites the community to join UMES faculty, staff and students on Tuesday evening for a dialogue with award-winning reporter and author John Head in an all male forum about Head's work, "Standing in the Shadows: Understanding and Overcoming Depression in Black Men."  A book signing will follow the read-in.  Participating panelists are Rev. Lewis Watson, Rev. M. Luther Hill and Dr. Thomas Mosley as well as other members of the surrounding community.

    Published in 2004, "Standing in the Shadows" chronicles Head's personal experience with chronic depression and reveals the cultural and historic reasons why black men, in particular, suffer in silence. With his book, Head calls for the black community and the psychiatric community to lead the much needed discussions that may serve to begin to heal what was once considered taboo.

    UMES is committed to promoting and celebrating literacy in-house as well as in conjunction with the nationally recognized African American Read-ins held in schools, churches, libraries, bookstores, community and professional organizations and homes for the purpose of making literacy a significant part of Black History Month.  The names of readers and books read are reported to the National Teachers of English to document participation in the event. The library will also host a special reading for the tots at the UMES Early Childhood Center. The celebration is culminated by Head's visit and forum on Tuesday, February 5.

    Due to the efforts of the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English, African American Read-ins have been in existence since 1990 and have involved more than 1,000,000 readers all over the United States and abroad.  For more information, read-in packets are available online at Annually, readers from all ethnic backgrounds congregate, read and celebrate the many accomplishments of African-American authors.

    For more information about this year's African American Read-in, call the UMES Office of Public Relations at 410-651-6669.




    Suzanne Waters Street, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-621-2355,