Saturday’s Literacy Across Harlem March – Event Schedule

Total Equity Now -TEN

This Saturday, September 20th from 1PM-4PM, come out and enjoy the good weather during the 3rd Annual Literacy Across Harlem March, Book Drive and Community Celebration.

Join the event organizer Total Equity Now, local authors, and teams from Harlem youth-development organizations, colleges, fraternities and sororities, book clubs, etc. for an energizing, educational stroll through and celebration of the past, present, and future of Harlem’s literacy landscape.

Event Schedule

1PM – Rally for reading! Your choice: La Casa Azul Bookstore (143 E. 103rd St. between Park and Lexington) or Sister’s Uptown Bookstore & Cultural Center (1942 Amsterdam Ave. at 156th). Bring (or buy) a favorite book in order to #RockThoseReads (publicly display your identity as a reader) AND a new or like-new children’s book to donate to a Harlem shelter.

2PM – Ready, set, go! Guided by knowledgeable community ambassadors past historic reading-related landmarks, enjoy delicious samples from TEN’s Literacy Across Harlem Day partner cafes: East Harlem Cafe (104th & Lexington), Astor Row Cafe (130th & Lenox), and Cafe One (140th & Amsterdam)!

3PM – Arrive at Marcus Garvey Park’s Richard Rodgers Amphitheater, in the heart of Harlem, for an interactive, family-friendly community celebration of reading and writing!

3rd Annual Literacy Across Harlem March and book drive

Thanks in part to local historians Dr. William Seraile and Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, both of whom have written important books about our community, all Literacy Across Harlem March participants will receive special compilations of reading-related landmarks located along this year’s march routes.

Below are hints about some of those famous sites. See if you recognize any of them!

– Ralph Ellison, author of Invisible Man, is buried in this West Harlem cemetery.

– Over the years, many outstanding writers and thinkers, including Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, and Malcolm X, have rested their heads at this facility on 135th Street.

– This research library contains over 10,000,000 items, including valuable manuscripts and/or the personal papers of literary leaders Phillis Wheatley, John Henrick Clarke, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, and Lorraine Hansberry.

– For many years, pan-Harlem #RockThoseReads champion Pura Belpré, the New York Public Library system’s first Latina librarian, could be found telling folktales and staging puppet shows for children at this East Harlem branch.

– This apartment complex, opened in El Barrio in 1979, was the final home of Tato Laviera, a brilliant Nuyorican poet who passed away last year.

– This research center, housed in Hunter College’s Silberman School of Social Work, contains a selection of writings and other papers from Juan Gonzalez, Antonia Pantoja, Pedro Pietri, Pura Belpré, Jack Agüeros, and other important authors and activists.

Tribute to Walter Dean Myers

This year’s march, timed to build excitement around reading at beginning of the 2014-2015 school year, is dedicated to the memory of Walter Dean Myers (, the inspiring, prolific children’s book author who joined the ancestors on July 1st.

Born in West Virginia, Brother Myers grew up in Harlem. Many of his best-selling books, such as Monster, are set right here in our community.

Like Pura Belpré, to whom we dedicated this year’s Visit Your Harlem Library Day back in June, Myers was fiercely committed to making sure that young people in Harlem and elsewhere saw themselves, their families, their communities, and their cultural backgrounds reflected in books. On March 15th, Myers published an important opinion piece in the NY Times, titled “Where Are the People of Color in Children’s Books?”

We give thanks for the life and literature of Brother Myers and for the powerful contributions of the many talented authors Harlem-bred and Harlem-based writers still among us.