Amir, 2, held up his book for me to see.
Duane Davis “Shorty” created “Books & BBQ” to help promote reading in Baltimore.
“I started Books and BBQ in 2006 at my Store on Falls Rd. People in the community donated and bought books to the store and could read and eat while they read different books. It’s a cultural exchange by using books as a common denominator. Books educate and enlighten.”
On August 10, Davis held a Books & BBQ at Lincoln Park in Baltimore. Jennifer Frances, founder of Bess the Book Bus brought a bus of brand new books. Children were delighted as they went into the bus, choosing their own books. Amir, 2, held up his book for me to see.
When I arrived at the park, I found Shorty grilling away. Throughout the event, people dropped off donations for the BBQ. I asked Tom “Mango Man” Manzitti why he thought it was important. “Because i like genuine grass-roots activism that promotes Healthy Hearts, Minds, & Harmony…instead of ignorance & division…like some…”Shorty & Co”. Do just that for the Community.”
Nakia Washington, another volunteer said this about the event: “Reading is a fundamental necessity to acquiring an accurate perception of what makes the world complete. Reading also sparks goals and imagination that may build upon the foundation that has already been laid. The food is a wonderful incentive for interest in reading. “
“Books are very important because they communicate in most instances learning and information that can be read over and over again, ” said Dwayne Cousar, who brought potato salad that day. “One book can help many people, and can travel through many hands. The internet is another source of information, but not everyone can afford internet and books can be borrowed from the library. Education is a main factor of being successful in life, and not all the time a person can afford to pay for an education via college. Books are still available for those who are hungry for knowledge. I guess you can learn anything from a book, even how to cook. The library is a good place to hang out any day.”
The adults and the children had a blast between the books, BBQ and fun. Several gathered in the field to race.
If you’d like to host a Books & BBQ event in Baltimore, drop me an email. I will hook you up with Duane Davis.
Bonnie Lane is an avid activist and advocate here in Baltimore. She is very vocal about social injustices. Fighting against injustice isn’t just a slogan to her but a way of life. Lane is a soldier in the struggles for social justice, real change and human rights. Having been homeless is what inspired her to become an advocate/activist. A passion for writing consumed her at an early age.