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  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WUIS original program highlights great literature by African Americans

January 28, 2004

SPRINGFIELD - Public radio WUIS 91.9 (Springfield) and WIPA 89.3 (Pittsfield) will air “Cadence: The Song of African-American Literature,” an original special program featuring local African Americans reading and discussing their favorite works by black authors or poets, as part of the 15th Annual African American Read-In which will take place on Monday, February 2.

“Cadence” will air February 2 from 7 to 8 p.m. and will be hosted by Marcellus Leonard, associate professor of English at the University of Illinois at Springfield and himself a noted poet. Guests will include Nia Hassan, government lobbyist; Candace Trees, executive director of the Illinois Association of Minorities in Government; Classie Murray, children’s librarian at Lincoln Library; Kathryn Harris, director of the Illinois State Historical Library; Chris Miller, vice chancellor for student affairs at UIS; Willie Mitchell, local poet; and Virgil Rhodes, local musician and faculty member at Lincoln Land Community College. Each will discuss his or her chosen author or piece and read an excerpt.

“I’m pleased to be hosting this program,” said Leonard. “Listeners will be able to hear the power of our pre-eminent African American authors and then perhaps they will want to check out a book or two.”

“Reading is obviously a very important skill and offering this look at African-American literature should be of interest to all age groups,” said Brad Swanson, WUIS general manager.

Authors and poets featured in the program include Terry McMillan, Gwendolyn Brooks, Alex Haley, Toni Morrison, Eloise Greenfield, Langston Hughes, and Paul Lawrence Dunbar.

 The National Council of Teachers of English established the Annual African-American Read-In to celebrate black literature and to increase the significance of literacy during Black History Month. This year’s goal is to document one million readers on February 1 and 2.

After February 2, “Cadence” can be heard by downloading it from the WUIS website at www.wuis.org; a list of recommended reading material is also available there.

WUIS-WIPA is a listener-supported public broadcast service of UIS.

 

    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 40 degree programs – 20 bachelor’s, 19 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.
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