University of Minnesota
Driven to Discover

African American Read-In

The Classroom and the Cell

Black Men and Women joined Univeristy of Minnesota students to read Mumia Abu Jamal's "The Classroom and the Cell".


African American Read-In welcomed Mbulelo Mzamane

MzamaneEzra Hyland, teaching specialist in the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, brought Mbulelo Mzamane to speak with University faculty, staff, and students. Mzamane is a well-known author, academic, and activist from South Africa who made post-apartheid changes alongside former South African President Nelson Mandela.

Mzamane told inspiring stories of his time in South Africa serving with Mandela and energized lively discussion between students and staff on current political issues. Revolution and change, he said, is not something that requires bloodshed. Economic and social reconstruction cannot be achieved through military power, but through politics and the cooperation of the people. "Cooperation is the only way to grow ourselves," Mzamane said, one of many inspirational and thought-provoking statements. To further explore South Africa's struggle against apartheid, Hyland suggested Mzamane's trilogy The Children of Soweto and The Children of Paradise.

Thank you to the Department of African American and African Studies and Coca-Cola for their support.

One Minneapolis One Read

Neighbors, family and friends gathered at the Minneapolis Convention Center on September 24th to engage in a community conversation with Garrison Keillor and Diane Wilson, author of “Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past”. “Spirit Car” is a compelling story created to honor the lives of Wilson’s Dakota family. The story of Wilson’s family begins with a vivid account of the 1862 Dakota War in Minnesota and then follows her family members’ nomadic travels across South Dakota and Nebraska in their struggle to survive. 2012 marks the 150th anniversary of the Dakota War of 1862 and One Minneapolis One Read has a number of public events to discuss this book. Visit their website for more information.

Did you know?

Nearly a billion people in the world cannot read and write. Fifteen percent of the people in western countries (approximately 44 million Americans ages 16 and older) are functionally illiterate. These people are very likely doomed to lives of poverty.

Facts about literacy

What can you do?

In 2003, the state of Minnesota reported 12,000 participants in the African American Read-In. This year, we want all schools, community organizations, churches, and work sites to report participation. Let’s continue expanding participation into all subject areas!

You are invited to host a read-in. Download host materials for the 2010 African American Read-In. After hosting a Read-In, report your activities to the National African American Read-In.


Kids high fiving Lynx players.
Academic All-Stars at Lynx game.  To become Academic All-Stars, students had to be on the Honor Roll for an entire year.

Grant presentation at Timberwolves game.
African American Read-In receives $10K
The Foundation's grant will be used
to purchase books and other curriculum
materials to support African American
Read-Ins around the state.

Black Men Reading group poses with books
photo: Brenda Jenkins

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Last modified on 9/24/2013