‘Reading and Rhythm’ event seeks to teach and inspire

Baton Rouge physician Rani Whitfield continues his book tour and personal appearances with two months of events that will include the William G. Anderson Lecture Series at Michigan State University and “Reading and Rhythm with Tha Hip Hop Doc,” a high-powered “R.J. Did It!” book release celebration Sunday, March 3, 2024, at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum (LASM). 

This touching narrative not only commemorates R.J.’s accomplishments but also paints a vivid portrait of the enduring family bond, making it a must-read for families everywhere. “I’m hoping that some kid in Nebraska who doesn’t know R.J. will get a hold of this book and see both a cool kid and book and will be inspired by some of the things covered in here,” Whitfield said.  “First, I want to instill a love for reading and then encourage responsibility – helping around the home – and some health initiatives like dental hygiene and handwashing. These are important steps of the development for young people.”

Whitfield, a family medicine practitioner, has used hip hop music and motivational speaking to impact health and social issues for more than two decades, but he is breaking new ground as a children’s book author. RJ Did It! is a heartwarming exploration of the parenting journey, spotlighting the milestones achieved by a spirited young son, R.J. Through engaging rhymes, it captures R.J.’s development as he acquires essential life skills.

Whitfield will take his stethoscope on the road February 23, 2024, for the 24th Annual Dr. William G. Anderson Lecture Series. Whitfield will address many topics including Black Men’s Health.

“Reading and Rhythm” at LASM will feature live book-reading, book-signings by Whitfield and little R.J., health messages, and special music collaborations.

Participants will get a screening of the “R.J. Did It!” music video and Whitfield will D.J. a journey of musical styles. Musicians from the Baton Rouge Music Conservatory will present live Cajun fiddling and jazz sets. Brothers Rani and Eric Whitfield (book editor) will collaborate again for a live music performance.   

Other scheduled events include:

  • Virtual Black History Celebration (Facebook) on February 18
  • Celebrate Black History Play & Learn | LPB Education | 2024
  • Hope Alliance Outreach | St. Landry Parish on March TBA
  • Read Across America Week: Various locations in March

About LASM: Housed in a historic railroad depot on the banks of the Mississippi River at 100 S. River Road, the Louisiana Art & Science Museum offers educational entertainment for visitors of all ages. The art galleries showcase changing fine art exhibitions and selections from the permanent collection. In the interactive art and science galleries designed just for children, creative and enlightening fun comes in many forms.

About the author: Dr. Rani G. Whitfield, a Board-Certified Family Physician with a Certificate of added qualification (CAQ) in Sports medicine, is currently in private practice in his native Baton Rouge. He is a graduate of Southern University in Baton Rouge and Meharry Medical College in Nashville. He’s a long-time National Spokesperson for the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

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