By Nancy Sullivan
Madison High School teacher/librarian
Madison High School’s 2013 African American Read-In was a wonderful event. Students heard from Byrd, Dr. Samuel D. Henry, Keith Lampton, Renee Mitchell, Turya Autry, and Jerry McGill. Guest readers traveled to various classrooms, and featured readers in the library presented to a packed house throughout the day.
It was very moving and inspiring to hear which pieces our readers chose and why. One of the highlights for the student body was Portland author Jerry McGill’s visit. He generously presented two sessions, telling the story of his life experience and the transformative power of forgiveness, which he wrote about in his book Dear Marcus: A Letter to the Man Who Shot Me (Spiegel & Grau, 2012). McGill answered students’ questions about the shooting, and his life in a wheelchair as a result, with honesty and openness.
Marqueeta Clark and Honni Brown, representing Madison’s Black Student Union, stepped up to support the day, making sure the event ran smoothly and making the experience a great one for guests. Student teacher Mary-Catherine McElroy-Fuchs provided invaluable logistical support. The day wouldn’t have been such a success without her time and effort making it great for our entire community.