Campus prepares to take on reading initiative

Florida A&M University recently announced plans to sponsor a book series next month in celebration of President James Ammons’ inauguration.

Sharon Saunders, chair of the President’s Inauguration Planning Committee, said the series is an initiative to increase readership.

“The book series was an idea that was conceptualized by PRodigy, but the publicity community actually came up with a list of books, that we wanted the students, the FAMU community and the community to read,” Saunders said.

The word is spreading, and Saunders said the planning committee hopes the book series will help get people interested in FAMU history, as well as open discussions that may give some students direction in their pursuit of study.

“The committee came up with ten separate books and assigned speakers,” Saunders said. “FAMU’s recent graduate Monique Gillum will be attending the book series where she will be talking about ‘Letters to a Young Sister,’ by Hill Harper,” Saunders said.

Saunders went on to say that with the presidential election nearing, the committee plans to lead the discussion with the book by Sen. Barack Obama entitled, “The Audacity of Hope,” followed by other novels read by the discussion leaders.

Another book to be featured is written by another famous author.

“I am an avid Toni Morrison scholar and have taught many seminars on Ms. Morrison’s novels,” said Dr. Emma Waters Dawson, a professor of English and the Director of the University Honors Program. “I think that this novel “Jazz,” in particular will get the audience engaged.”

“A Return to Excellence: Historic Reflecting the Presidential Eras of Florida A&M University (2001-2008) written by FAMU faculty members, Elizabeth Dawson, Leedell W. Neyland and professor Yanela Gordon, will also be discussed.

“This book is a testament to the power and the strength and the determination of Florida A&M University, we come from a long legacy of survival, and you’re going to see that in the book,” said Yanela Gordon, an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication.

Aside from encouraging reading, the discussion leaders hope to help the FAMU community regain their love and excitement about the university.

“This university just has a spirit behind it that would not let it die.  And that whole rattler spirit is real,” Gordon said. “We hope people will be confirmed when it comes to their love for Florida A&M University.” 

The book series will take place on October 2, in Perry Paige Auditorium at 6:30 p.m.

For more information on the events, contact the University Office of Communications at (850)599-3413.