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We are all about engaging black teens in poetry, prose, and literature in a culturally relevant dialogue.

Everything about The Hurston & Hughes Literary Circle℠ is summed up in our love of the written word for, by, and/or about African-American, AfroEuropean, AfroLatinx, Caribbean, and AfroAsian peoples.

We specifically work with middle and high school students. The literary circle welcomes public, private, and homeschool participants to join us for a ten-week opportunity to engage with like-minded teens. This summer enrichment experience is most appealing to students who are often racial/ethnic minorities in their school setting without opportunities to critically engage culturally relevant poetry, prose, and literary works in a libertine setting.

Pre-Covid , the young people meet in area coffee shops, bookstores, libraries, museums, parks, or even poolside to chat over the material they read, enjoy a laugh or two, and have a snack. As a result of Covid19, in Summer 2020, the decision was made to spend the next two summers virtually through Zoom, Facebook Live, Meet, or InstagramLive. Taking lemons to make lemonade, we have expanded from Missouri roots to have circlers represented in several states joining together to celebrate Black lit.

We read real books, write with real paper and pencil, and for a couple hours on a Tuesday evening in the summer, slow down to think, critically and contemplatively. We advocate for Black and independent bookstores that celebrate the beauty of racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse authors. The circlers are encouraged to build their own library. Bookshop.org has all our bookstores and provides and opportunity for these shops to thrive. Mahogany Books, Semicolon Bookstore, Harrietts Bookstore, and Uncle Bobbies are just a few.

This is a summer educational literary experience founded and directed by Antona Brent Smith, M.Div., M.B.A., B.S., Founder, Chief Creative Officer and CEO of Tayé Foster Bradshaw Group℠ with thirty years of experience in marketing strategy, branding, creative communication, writing, program management, and non-profit educational endeavors. She is a poet, essayist, and literary critic who writes as Tayé Foster Bradshaw, the name that honors her parents and grandmother who encouraged her to muse.

2 comments

  1. Hi Antona, hope you are well. I’m Pam McLoughlin from the New Haven Register and I cover Woodbridge. Read about your summer reading series on website and thought it could be an interesting story. If interested, please let me know number so we can set up a time to talk, get a photo. Thanks,Pam

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