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Juniata Students Perform Literature Readings at 'Lift Ev'ry Voice'

(Posted February 15, 2002)

HUNTINGDON, PA. -- "Lift Ev'ry Voice," a program of readings from African-American poetry and literature, will be held at Juniata College as part of Black History Month at 8 p.m., Feb 22, in the ballroom of Ellis College Center on the Juniata campus.

The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided during the program.

"Lift Ev'ry Voice" is a program of dramatic readings of literature written by African Americans. Students participating in the program are invited to choose poems and other works of literature by African-American writers that have special meaning for them. Among the readings featured in the program will be works by Gwendolyn Brooks, Alice Walker, Langston Hughes, Frances Harper, June Jordan, and Al Young.

"It is important to realize that American literature was not and is not written only by white authors," says Judy Katz, associate professor of English at Juniata and teacher of the college's African-American Literature class. "The African American literary tradition is a profound and brilliant part of our literary heritage in America."

The name of the program, "Lift Ev'ry Voice," comes from the poem and song composed by James Weldon Johnson in 1900. The song has strong meaning in the African-American community and has been adopted as the "Negro National Anthem."

The event is co-sponsored by UCJC (United Cultures of Juniata College), AWOL (Alternate Ways of Loving), and the English Club, and is organized by students in the African-American Literature and World Literature classes.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.