One of the things that I’ve noticed over the last decade or so is the lack of interest in reading in our community.
Quite frankly; if it’s not entertainment, sports, or gossip, Black people aren’t interested–and this is taking a toll on our children.
“Literacy—the ability to read and write—is essential to fully developing a sense of well-being and citizenship. Children who are solid readers perform better in school, have a healthy self-image, and become lifelong learners, adding to their viability in a competitive world.”
“To know the future of Black America in 15 to 20 years, one need only look at the dismal academic performance of 3rd- and 4th- grade Black students today. The 2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress Report reveals that only 16% of African-American 4th- grade students in Illinois read at a proficient level or above. Unfortunately, Black students throughout the rest of the country do not fare much better.
As a group, without the ability to read well, no future exists for Black children in America. The real tragedy is that Black American students are no longer just competing against White American students. They are competing educationally against the best and the brightest students globally. And Black students are failing miserably.”
Statistically, it is shown that by the 4th grade, Black children do not read as well as their white counterparts, in large part due to the lack of communication (words spoken) to them from their parents. This most effects young Black boys who are twice as likely to drop out than white males.
From observation, white children do seem to be more verbal than Black children and it’s very disturbing to accept that the reason why so many young Black children are failing is due to the lack of assertion of reading and communication in their homes.
How can we fix this problem?
I’ve been an author over 10 years now and I can tell you that writing a serious book (my first book) and writing fiction (new one) really didn’t make any difference. It’s hard to get Black folks to read anything that isn’t BS. They want grime and dirt–nothing uplifting, empowering, or educative.
This doesn’t discourage me, but when I think of the trick of slavery that denied my ancestors to read (making it against the law);and the sacrifices that were made by our ancestors to achieve in spite of their suffering; this generation of Black people are an insult to them.
I wonder what they’d say to us.
Success is a choice. One has to be motivated to achieve.
But if one can’t read; then one will have no future.
This will impact our community–HARD!
Black parents much enforce their children to read more–spending at least 60 minutes a day reading with them–and allowing them to choose books they’d like to read. Give books to them. Have them read a book they like to the family. The bottom line: It all starts in the home.
My mother took me to the library when I was 4 years old and obtained a library card for me. I can tell you that since that time, I’ve never not had a library card–and I’ve lived in 2 states since then.
You wonder what propelled me to become an author; it was because reading was encouraged at a young age.
A mind truly is a thing to waste.