“Let them Know”: ASAP club uses read-in to inform about African American culture

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Mira Nalbandian

Speaking into the microphone, senior Taylor Fisher reads a poem written by the African American Literature class. Fisher emphasized her cultural pride. “We love our skin, and we love what we do. We’re very powerful,” Fisher said.

Eyes glued to senior Taylor Fisher as she reads a poem, students and staff gather in the library. The powerful words of poems written by African Americans echo throughout the room. 

The African American Student Achievement Program (ASAP) held the annual African American read-in Wednesday, Feb. 12 during both lunches. About thirty students and teachers participated in this event. Junior Mikayla Sims read the poem “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou

“More people should come to these because not everyone knows what African Americans go through and what we experience,” Sims said. “If more people come to these, they’ll understand and have a different point of view.”

English teacher Erin Fluchel attended the read-in, which consisted of listening to students read poems from several different African American historical figures.

“It’s powerful to give voice to any sort of community that has been marginalized and is continuing to be marginalized,” Fluchel said. “It’s important to have not just our African American kids there, but to have kids [and teachers] of all colors that are supporting.”

For the event, the African American Literature class collectively wrote a poem called “Let them Know.” 

“This event is important because it’s Black History Month,” Fisher said. “This month means so much to us because we have a lot of people that have done so much for us, and we don’t learn about African American culture enough.”

Fisher hopes to make a difference in the lives of other African American students.

“I feel like [the read-in] was a kickoff, a start,” Fisher said. “We [African  American students] let them know we’re here, we’re speaking out.”