Eduardo J. Padrón
Office of the President
300 N.E. Second Avenue
Miami, Florida 33132-2297
Message From the President
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Encouraging Literacy Through Big Read Program
First published amid controversy in 1937, then rescued from obscurity decades later, Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God set the tone for a new generation of women writers in search of their black identity in the 1960s.
MDC's Florida Center for the Literary Arts (FCLA) has selected Hurston's enduring book from a pool of 16 classic novels for this year's Big Read campaign in Miami, which encourages the community to read and discuss the same book.
From February through March 2008, FCLA, in partnership with the Miami Dade Public Library System, invites the community to read Their Eyes Were Watching God and to attend a variety of discussions, readings and other events that explore the novel's themes -- including oppression and empowerment, and women's dependence and autonomy during the early part of the 20th century.
Their Eyes Were Watching God is also FCLA's selected title for the First Year in College reading initiative, motivating students to discuss literature with peers and professors in College Prep, English, Communications and Arts courses across the College.
I would like to thank the FCLA staff for bringing this program to MDC once again, and the National Endowment for the Arts for the grant that enables the College to host The Big Read.
I hope you will take the time to join our community in reading this thought-provoking novel and do your part in restoring the pleasure and enlightenment of reading to the center of American culture.