2023 NCTE National African American Read-In -


2023 NCTE National African American Read-In

Tuesday, February 28, 2023 – 1:30–2:15 p.m. ET

NCTE welcomes educators and their students to join us for our second annual virtual African American Read-In, featuring Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond, author of Blue: A History of the Color as Deep as the Sea and as Wide as the Sky. Blue is the winner of the 2023 Orbis Pictus Award® for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children. This event is geared toward classrooms, to celebrate the African American Read-In nationally through the lens of this new nonfiction book.

We envision teachers in classrooms coast to coast joining us for this 45-minute event. The agenda includes an interactive activity called Blue Personified, where students will discover the history and culture behind one of their favorite colors. Participating classrooms will be eligible for a certificate.

The session will be moderated by NCTE Black Caucus leader Ayanna F. Brown.


“For centuries, blue powders and dyes were some of the most sought-after materials in the world. Ancient Afghan painters ground mass quantities of sapphire rocks to use for their paints, while snails were harvested in Eurasia for the tiny amounts of blue that their bodies would release.

Penguin Random House book summary


(NCTE and independent bookstores receive a small commission from books purchased using the bookshop.org links provided.)

This event is free to NCTE members.

Nana Brew-Hammond

Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond is the author of Powder Necklace, which Publishers Weekly called “a winning debut.” She was a 2019 Edward Albee Foundation Fellow, a 2018 Pa Gya! Literary Festival Guest Author, a 2018 Ake Arts and Book Festival Guest Author, a 2018 Hobart Festival of Women Writers Guest Author, a 2017 Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar, a 2016 Hedgbrook Writer-in-Residence, a 2015 Rhode Island Writers Colony Writer-in-Residence, and in both 2015 and 2014 she was shortlisted for a Miles Morland Writing Scholarship. In April 2015, she was the opening speaker at TEDxAccra. Every month, Brew-Hammond co-leads a monthly writing fellowship at Manhattan’s Center for Faith and Work.

Ayanna Brown

Ayanna F. Brown, PhD, is an associate professor at Elmhurst University. Her research examines discussions of race and how the discursive aspects of dialogue contribute to racial literacies. Brown is the editor of Racial Literacies, Volume 2: Sociopolitical and Sociocultural Contexts for Youth, and has a contributing chapter entitled “Race” in the Encyclopedia of Language Arts Education (in press). Brown earned her bachelor of science degree in secondary education language arts from Tuskegee University. She earned her MEd in curriculum and instructional leadership and her PhD in interdisciplinary studies: language, literacy, and sociology from Vanderbilt University. She has been an active member of NCTE for more than 20 years and is a leading member of the Black Caucus and former co-chair of the Assembly for Research.