"On East 11th Street, we have it painted in big, bold letters so no one can mistake it: 'Black Artists Matter.' That goes for Black writers too. Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, Maya Angelou, and Ralph Ellison are among the pantheon, but there are countless other great Black writers, and I'm so proud of this collaboration between 100 Black Men and Samsung that is giving our kids more exposure to these vital voices," Austin City Councilmember Natasha Harper-Madison said.
Spencer said not only is it a "blessing to give back," but being able to see the children's reaction triggered an emotional response. "To see the kids get excited… to see someone that looks like them in the book, but then also see someone as young as them, telling them he wrote the book and he's reading it to them, I was in tears."
When asked what book from his childhood had a lasting impact, Spencer said it was W.E.B. Dubois' work.
"As a kid reading Dubois, I didn't understand, but my dad told me 'You need to read this book,'" Spencer added.
The organization is hoping to expand their Cultural Competency initiative with more events leading into the summer. To learn more about the organization, click here.