To close out Black History Month, Annandale Campus professors hosted a reading where several faculty members read from various works written by African-American writers on February 28.
An audience of about 20 people in the Barnes & Noble Café listened as they read works by Gwendolyn Brooks, Terrance Hayes, Ralph Ellison, Maya Angelou and others. Faculty members who participated included Associate Dean of English Jennifer Daniels, Dean of Liberal Arts Burton Peretti, English professors Rima Gulshan and Memuna Sillah and History Professor Nate Green.
Special guest Andy Shallal, owner of the Busboys and Poets restaurants, opened the event by discussing how he connected with Langston Hughes’ works. He briefly talked about Hughes’ life and how his poetry was discovered while he was a busboy at the Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. After poet Vachel Lindsay discovered his work, Hughes was referred to as a “busboy poet,” hence the name of Shallal’s popular restaurants.
Shallal read a couple of Hughes’ pieces including the well-known poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers.” Faculty members read from some of their favorite African-American works and works by other people of color from around the world who are not always that well-known, but are also recognized and celebrated during Black History Month.
The Annandale Campus hosted a number of events to celebrate the lives and works of people of color during Black History Month. The reading was organized by the Annandale Campus Lyceum Committee.