Today’s news:

Authors read to honor Black History Month

     The read-in was sponsored by The Greater Queens Chapter of the Links Inc., a group of black...

By Betsy Scheinbart

Several African-American authors read from their published books at the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning Sunday in celebration of Black History month.

     The read-in was sponsored by The Greater Queens Chapter of the Links Inc., a group of black business women who organize educational, civic, and cultural activities in Queens.

    Sandra Jackson Berger, the president of the Queens chapter, said the event was important “so the children and others can see what talent we have in the southeast Queens community.”

    Although all the member of the Queens chapter are women, there were still many men in the audience and several male authors got up to read.

    It was a family affair for many in the audience, like children’s book author Barbara E. Barber, who brought her son, Jalon, 5, from Manhattan. Barber, who read from her two books “Saturdays at The New You” and “Allie’s Basketball Dream,” said she hoped the kids in the audience would enjoy her stories.

    Barber’s books are aimed at girls age 5 to 10. “Saturdays at The New You” is about a girl who spends time at her mother’s beauty salon and “Allie’s Basketball Dream” teaches that girls can play basketball, too.

    The children in the audience also enjoyed storyteller, actress, and former teacher Teri Dunham-McCants who told three stories, including one of “Aesop’s Fables.” The New York native acted out the characters of each story by moving around the stage and changing her voice to fit each.

    Eli Kince, a author, artist, and professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, read from his book “I Remember Daddy.” The story is an epic poem tracing the African-American male from Africa to the present day.

    O.S. “Ozzy” Williams from Jamaica Estates shared several of his lyrical poems, which paint pictures with words.

    “I am not a professional poet, but it is a way to express myself,” Williams said. “It’s so important you get yourself across to anther person, in a non-violent way.”

    Williams’ poems painted the scenes of the Bahamas and Africa as well as the harsh urban reality of a South Bronx ghetto.

    Author Marc Taylor told the audience about his four-year book project “A Touch of Classic Soul: Soul Singers in the 1970s.” Taylor conducted interviews with many of the 35 soul artists he profiled in the book and he read some of the most memorable excerpts from those interviews to the audience.

    Taylor explained that although many famous groups have sampled or done covers of classic soul songs, these artist remain relatively unknown and unappreciated.

    Finally, the stage was open to the community and several people got up to read their own poetry and The Link, Inc. member Sonya Geder-Diggs read from Maya Angelou’s book, “Even the Stars Look Lonesome.”

    The Links, Inc. is an international African-American community service organization with about 10,000 members and 261 chapters in 40 states as well as in the Bahamas and Germany.

    Reach reporter Betsy Scheinbart by e-mail at or call (718) 229-0300, ext. 154.

Pin It
Print this story Permalink

Reader Feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

CNG: Community Newspaper Group