MK Asante Visits the Mack HouseBy Leah Jensen, Teacher Librarian, McClymond’s High SchoolMcClymond’s Library is currently under construction. Our vision is to build a space and program that is teen centered, culturally relevant, state of the art and community minded. Even though we are not officially open, we have already embarked on building a “Love of Reading” culture by booking Author talks which will be a regular part of student life here at McClymonds.Our first Author Talk happened on Monday, October 5, 2015. MK Asante, bestselling author, award-winning filmmaker, rapper, and professor who CNN calls “a master storyteller and major creative force,” came to the Mack House, McClymonds HS Library to share his story and his acclaimed memoir, Buck. Maya Angelou describes it as, “A story of surviving and thriving with passion, compassion, wit, and style.”He enlightened us all with two morning sessions, roughly 60 students each. The room was 100 perencet fixated on Professor Asante who delivered in a way described as “brilliantly complex”. It should be mentioned that MK Asante is the youngest African-American male tenured professor in the United States at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD.He drew the students in with his childhood story, which is not unlike many of their own stories. Then he spit some rhymes charged with positive energy, ancestral wisdom and street knowledge. Sprinkled throughout his talk were uplifting and loving sagacity, “Be patient and strong” and “Someday this pain will be useful to you.”Each student left with a personally signed copy of his book and new founded outlook on reading and life. For the rest of the day, Mack scholars were spotted reading at lunch and just walking down the hallway, book in hand.“I never liked reading that much. I’m excited about reading his book,” an 11th Grade Mack Scholar said.
“I never met a real author before, and certainly not one like that,” said a 12th Grade Mack Scholar.Thanks to the District’s commitment to Libraries, we have been able to hire a District Library Manager who can bring authors of this caliber to our Oakland scholars and for the first time in 9 years, hire a Teacher Librarian dedicated to the McClymonds Library Program.Go Warriors!