Two reading related events were recently brought to my attention: 1. The #rockthosereads movement across Harlem, and 2. Светлана Алексиевич (Svetlana Alexeivich) recently was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in literature.
The grassroots organization Total Equity Now, founded by Joe Rogers Jr., has declared the first day of every month “Literacy Across Harlem Day,” and on these days, Harlemites are encouraged to carry reading materials outside of their bags, rocking their reads in support of reading and literacy. As far as I can tell, it doesn’t matter which reads you’re rocking, as long as they’re reads.
Alexeivich is not widely read. She is a Belarusian author who writes Russian non-fiction; an ex-Soviet Union critic turned Putin (President of Russia) and Lukashenko (President of Belarus) critic. She fiercely opposes the Russian government, especially Putin’s annexation of Crimea (2014), which she condemns as imperialist. She writes compelling accounts of peoples’ voices. In a conversation with Anna Lucic she said “The heroes, feelings, and events in my books are all real.” (http://www.dalkeyarchive.com/a-conversation-with-svetlana-alexievich-by-ana-lucic/)
Her books are not published in Belarus.
How are the Belarusians supposed to #rockthosereads of their Nobel Prize Laureate? In many places in the world, people rock restricted reads. What is the danger of rocking reads? What is the power?