In February, after Black Voices, a reading of literature by authors from the African Diaspora, more than twenty people asked — Are you going to do it again? Can I read with you next time? One woman said. You don’t have to wait until next February. We could read work from other authors.
Reading other authors’ work resonated with me. My introduction to books was my nightly bedtime story. Long after I could read myself, I still loved having someone read to me. Hearing a book that I knew, like Rudy Dee’s reading of Their Eyes Were Watching God, made me see it in a different light. And reading aloud satisfies the actor in me.
The Black History Month reading had a natural selectivity. If I organized a reading from the broad swath of literature, how would I choose? I’d selected most of the authors we read in February. Why not let the reader choose from their favorite authors.