Black Writers of Today and Yesterday

Each February Sag Harbor's John Jermaine Library and Canio's Books invite neighbors to read from their favorite Afro-American writers.

We hear the work of Lucille Clifton, Claudia Rankin, Bryan Stevenson, Wallace Thurman, Frederick Douglas and Maya Angelou, all recorded at Canios Books this month.

Listen here

Nancy Meyers of the John Jermaine Library began the reading with an untitled poem by Lucille Clifton:

Ms. Clifton, who died in 2010 in Baltimore, was an American poet, writer, and educator. Clifton was nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize for poetry.

Next, Bill Burford read from Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric, and   a poem Memory is a tough place.

Claudia Rankin is the author of five volumes of poetry, two plays and various essays.  She was born in 1963.


Next, Margi Pulkingham reads from Bryan Stevenson’s "Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption”

The book looks at the criminal justice system through the eyes of a young lawyer who fought to overturn the conviction of an Alabama man sentenced to die for a murder he didn’t commit. 

Stevenson founded the Equal Justice Initiative to help criminals on death row.

Next, Kathryn Szoka reads The Blacker the Berry by the Harlem Renaissance writer Wallace Thurman

The 1929 book explores discrimination within the black community based on skin color.   

Bill Chaleff reads a text by Fredrick Douglas written about 1835.

Nancy Meyers of the John Jermaine Library in Sag Harbor reading Maya Angelou’s work, And Still I Rise


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