African American Read-In Begins Today

AARI 2021-020121

NEHS is excited to announce the start of NCTE’s African American Read-In (AARI) today! Please read on for a message and resources from the National Council of Teachers of English.

Dr. Jerrie Cobb Scott, founder of the African American Read-In (AARI), said, “It is important for all of us to see ourselves in books.”

The National African American Read-In is a groundbreaking effort to encourage communities to read together, centering African American books and authors. It was established in 1990 by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) to make literacy a significant part of Black History Month. During AARI, we elevate and celebrate books written by Black authors that highlight Black experiences.

Although most of us won’t be able to gather in person for 2021 AARI events, we encourage schools, churches, libraries, bookstores, and community and professional organizations to organize virtual events.


Are You Organizing an Event?

  • Submit an Event
    If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to submit your AARI event details to NCTE so we can include your event on the 2021 AARI map and list it in the post-AARI report card.
  • View the Toolkit
    Visit the AARI Toolkit to find everything you need to plan your event. Download the hosting organization badge to use on your website, email signature, and other digital promotional materials!
  • Go to Wakelet
    Are you looking for inspiration? During the January 17 #NCTEchat, we discussed AARI planning. Catch up on the conversation by viewing the archive!

We’ll See You Online!

We’re celebrating AARI all month on social media. If you host or participate in an AARI event this year, don’t forget to share your activities on social media using the hashtag #AARI21. We’ll also share relevant content throughout the month of February across NCTE’s social media channels.

With many AARI events moving online, this year’s virtual celebration will transcend geographic boundaries. Find an AARI event with the online map.

Create Your #AARI21 Reading List

  • Find NCTE staff recommendations for your #AARI21 reading list—including several titles from past NCTE event presenters—on
  • Much of the focus of the African American Read-In is on novels and trade books, but this is also a great time to look at recent professional texts by NCTE-published authors. Find a list of selected titles on NCTE’s blog, Literacy & NCTE.

Featured Event: My Sister’s Keeper

As part of this year’s African American Read-In, NCTE will sponsor a virtual event hosted by Cuyahoga Community College, “My Sister’s Keeper: Celebrating Black Women and Womxn Poets.”

The livestream will begin on Thursday, February 18, at 11 a.m. ET. NCTE President-Elect Valerie Kinloch will speak at the event, as will NCTE Executive Director Emily Kirkpatrick.

NEHS would also love to publicize your events—send short articles and pictures to NEHS Director Dave Wendelin or to Katie Mudd, Director of Social Media Strategies.