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Students Attend Author Lecture at SU

Jackie Antonacci and Quinn Etoll

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Seventeen students of Westhill, hailing from both the middle and high school, attended a lecture given by the esteemed author of Brown Girl Dreaming, Jacqueline Woodson, on April 5th. Students ranging from fifth through tenth grade, most from their school’s respective book clubs, attended the event at Syracuse University. The afternoon excursion was spent in Huntington Beard Crouse Hall, with approximately fifty people of all ages and creeds engrossed in an hour of Woodson reciting from some of her thirty-two published works and her recounting her experiences as a black woman growing up in racially segregated America. She discussed her advocacy for diverse literature in classrooms and how she believes that every student can make a difference in bridging the gaps of society. Following the lecture, a Q&A ensued in which many children and adults inquired about her writing process, her many works, and Ms. Woodson’s life in general.

Jacqueline Woodson was born in Ohio in 1963 amidst racial upset across America. Her National Book Award winning memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming, elucidates her move to and raising in the South, her family’s role in the Great Migration to New York City, living with the remnants of Jim Crow Laws, and her turmoils in reading, writing, learning, and social discrimination. She is the winner of over two hundred awards, including the National Book Award, the Newbery Honor Medal, and the Coretta Scott King Award.

The field trip, made possible by Mrs. Fenner, Mrs. Feeney, and the Westhill Grant Foundation, granted students the chance to purchase a few of Ms. Woodson’s works. A meet and greet session was held, which permitted attendees to have one-on-one interactions with Ms. Woodson, a book signature, and a photo opp.

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Students Attend Author Lecture at SU