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  • The Big Read Keynote Speaker Encourages Students to Empower One Another

  • UHD and Harmony Public Schools Celebrate Day of Literacy for The Big Read

Logo for The Big ReadThe Big Read is a program of the National Endowment of the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.​


Big Read: Collaborations Between a University (UHD) and a Community

2015 Big Read 


The common reader to be discussed at 2015 Freshman Convocation is Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea, an award-winning writer, a member of the Latino Literature Hall of fame, and professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Among the themes in this modern fairy tale are immigration, borders between nations and between people, resilience, and strengthening the community.​


Freshman Convocation​​

Day: Saturday, August 22, 2015

Time: 8:00 am to 12:30 pm

8 am to 9 am: Registration and light refreshments; Program 9 am to 10 am; Discussion sessions, 10:15 am to 11:15 am; and Community Engagement, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm.

Place: 3rd Floor Academic Building, Robertson Auditorium​


​2014 Big Read

Cover for "A Lesson Before Dying" by Ernest J. Gaines

A Lesson Before Dying

Ernest J. Gaines

ISBN-10: 0375702709 or ISBN-13: 978-0375702709

A Lesson Before Dying, is set in a small Cajun community in the late 1940s. Jefferson, a young black man, is an unwitting party to a liquor store shoot out in which three men are killed; the only survivor, he is convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Grant Wiggins, who left his hometown for the university, has returned to the plantation school to teach. As he struggles with his decision whether to stay or escape to another state, his aunt and Jefferson's godmother persuade him to visit Jefferson in his cell and impart his learning and his pride to Jefferson before his death. In the end, the two men forge a bond as they both come to understand the simple heroism of resisting—and defying—the expected.​

​The Big Read Events In Houston

Houston Public Library - Classic Literature Book Club

Date: 2nd Tuesday of every month 
Time: 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. 
Location: Houston Central Library
500 McKinney St. Houston, Texas 77002 
Phone: (832) 393-1313
Do your reading tendencies lean toward the classics? If you enjoy reading and discussing classic literature, please join us.

HOUSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY - Shepard-Acres Home Book Club

Date: 2nd Saturday of every month 
Time: 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. 
Location: Shepard-Acres Homes Neighborhood Library
8501 W. Montgomery Houston, Texas 77088 
Phone: (832) 393-1700
Do you enjoy discussing books with like-minded individuals in a casual, relaxed setting? Our book club selections focus on best sellers, popular fiction, and classics.

Community Read-out

Date: TBD
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. 
Location: Ripley House, Room 135
The Ripley House Neighborhood Center will host a community read-out of A Lesson Before Dying at Baker-Ripley House locations.

Center for Critical Race Studies Read out

Date: Thursday, July 9, 2015
Time: 9:00a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 
Location: University of Houston-Downtown
Students enrolled in UHD's Introduction to Philosophy and African American literature courses at UHD will facilitate book discussions of A Lesson Before Dying with participating high school students in the Houston Independent School District Summer Reading Program.

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Last updated 2/4/2016 11:19 AM