Greetings Springfield African American Read-In Community and Friends,
We hope that each of you, our friends and fans, are well in the 2021 New Year!
2020 was a difficult year for us all with the horrid ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic and the pandemic of racism in America that resulted in the brutal killing of innocent African American men and women; George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, to name a few.
During the first week of 2021, we witnessed an insurrection attempt against our American democracy with the siege of our national capitol and an attempt to prevent the approval of the electoral college vote in the free and fair 2020 presidential election.
The purpose of this message is a public announcement from the Springfield African American Read-In Committee (AARIC) to inform the public, with great disappointment, that we will not host a 2021 African American Read-In program in February 2021. In normal times, the AARIC would be sending out publicity about a program after months of planning meetings and rehearsals. Due to the pandemic lockdowns, quarantines, and social distancing we were unable to conduct the work or labor of love that goes into putting together a program in February 2021. However, we will continue to honor African American writers and celebrate their books, poetry, songs, stories, and other cultural treasures. We are looking forward to the future when in February 2022, if not sooner, we will be able to gather again with AARI readers, performers, and a live audience for a celebration. In addition to this letter, we are posting the words of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by James Weldon Johnson.
Let us all stand together for better days, the end of systemic racism in America, and an end to the deadly, worldwide COVID-19.
Until we meet again, we wish you all health and happiness!
Grace M. Jackson-Brown, Ph.D., M.L.S., Chairperson of the Springfield AARIC, on behalf of the Springfield AARIC (Nora England, Charlotte Hardin, Gwen Marshall, Eva Pelkey, Toni Robinson, and Rosalyn Thomas)