Voice It: Black Poetry Discussion Panel

This virtual intergenerational panel will engage in discussion on how themes from the new Library of America Anthology, African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song edited by Kevin Young, reflect lived experiences.


Dr. Pamela Ross McClain, a scholar of African American literature at the University of Michigan Flint, will open the dialogue on how African American poets have captured the cultural experiences of African Americans, and inspired a legacy of creative expression, resistance, uniqueness, and resilience.


This program will take place on Zoom and will be livestreamed on Facebook. To join on Zoom, click here.

For a list of suggested reading to celebrate Black History Month, click here.



Jackson District Library was one of 49 institutions in the United States to receive the Lift Every Voice grant, which is administered by the Library of America, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, in partnership with The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

African American Read-In Chain

The Jackson District Library and the Jackson Branch of the NAACP will host the first African American Read-In Chain for Jackson County on February 23, 2019. During the month of February, schools, churches, libraries, community and professional organizations are urged to make literacy a significant part of African American History Month by displaying and promoting the works of African American authors.

Jackson County residents, inclusive of all ages and nationalities, may sign-up to read a selection from a book, recite a poem or choose a portion from a book all written by an African American author during this Community Read-In.

The finale will feature Kevin Collins and his Kuungana African Drum and Dance Company of Flint, MI. Their energetic dance moves and the vibrant sounds of African drums will weave together the excitement of literacy and cultural. Be a part of this celebratory event as Jackson County joins the “chain” of over 6 million participants reading works by African American authors.

Originated through the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English in 1989, the event is now supported by the National Council of Teachers of English and endorsed by the International Reading Association.

Contact the Community Engagement Department of the Jackson District Library for more information. Call at 517-788-4099 ext. 1317 or email at CEdepartment@myjdl.com.