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Group reading in Van Aken District aims to inspire young boys to take control of their futures

Van Aken Undefeated reading
Posted at 9:40 AM, Jun 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-29 09:40:54-04

SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio — A group of young boys trying to find their place in the world participated in a powerful event in Shaker Heights’ Van Aken District Sunday.

Twelve boys participated in a group reading. Each child read a page from the book “Undefeated” by Kwame Alexander, written as a love letter to Black America and the achievements of African Americans throughout history.

Organizers of the event wanted to use the reading as a way for young Black children to see what’s possible for them.

"As a mom, it's been a really trying time to explain to my young children...the challenges that are going on in the world today," said Deandrea Evans Springer, the event coordinator. “What we are trying to do is focus on literacy as a means of empowering young people at a time such as this."

The book illustrates about the devastating parts of Black history while at the same time provides the message of hope and the opportunity for a bright future.

"Shine a light for the world to see. And don't stop ‘til the break of dawn," one child read. "And don't stop ‘til the break of dawn. This is for the unspeakable. This is for us."

The event was hosted by the group Kids 4 Humankind to help the boys “feel empowered to take control, to take control of their future and to be the change that they want to see.”

Sunday’s event was meant particularly for young Black boys but other readings with young Black girls and a multi-cultural reading are planned for this summer as well.