It is much worse than we can think or comprehend. Millions of African Americans do not know how to read.
Suffering in silence, unable to understand, interpret, or comprehend the most basic combinations of written English words. Looking at signs, menus, and important documents as if they are written in hieroglyphs, too proud to ask what it means.
This is the life of millions of Black men who are functionally or completely illiterate.
Illiteracy is the glaucoma that keeps African Americans blind and ignorant.
There are numerous reasons for individuals’ inability to read and comprehend, but the two main reasons are social engineering and the anti-intellectual African American culture.
This culture ridicules those who show interest or excel in academics, choosing to praise those who play sports, fight, dance, and sing. The sad part of our current condition is our forefathers literally died for our access to the gift of reading, only for their descendants to squander it and choose mindless entertainment instead.
The powers that be no longer use brute force to keep African Americans docile in ignorance, but instead use psychological tactics, resulting in a mental slavery much stronger than the physical slavery of our forefathers.
As a society, Americans do not read much and are unable to read text after a concerning level. According to the National Center of Educational Statistics, the average American reads at an 8th grade level.
African American boys grow up in a culture where none of their heroes demonstrate or encourage the importance of literacy or reading. The heroes of our youth are predominately from the entertainment and athletic industries promoting consumerism and promiscuity. When is the last time an African American ‘hero’ recommended a book that was not their sleazy ‘tell-all’ biography?
We have millions of men who are fathers themselves who cannot read. The goal of every African American man should be proficient literacy.
A lot of the self-hate African American have persists because their only source of information about themselves is from a media machine that wants them to hate themselves. Much of the incorrect information about our history and journey can be debunked by picking up a book.
Reading gives us a clearer understanding of the environment where we live.
Reading is the key to unlock oneself from the psychological slavery the leaves too many ignorant and insecure.
Guardians reading to children is vital to their development and helps create a love for reading as they grow.
Are we as African American parents reading with our children, encouraging them to love books as they get older? Something must be done to stop this vicious cycle and we must be the ones to do it.
My message to these brothers is put the pride to the side and humble yourselves and get help.
Denial of the fact that you cannot read is detrimental to yourself and your family. ADULTS, instead of giving praise to the child who can do the latest dance, run fast, sing, or shoot a basketball, we must praise children for excelling in academics and inculcate a thirst for knowledge.
Adults must exemplify what we want from our children, so we have to read as an expected custom and routine and children have to see that consistently. The average adult spends over seven hours a day using social media, watching television, or playing video games. Even if we commit to 30 minutes a day to reading, we become more knowledgeable and grow comprehension, vocabulary, discernment and questioning skills. If we can’t do it for the children, who will? Don’t look to schools to build a habit for the children.
African Americans have to take responsibility for our futures. The revolution is not blood and death, but evolving our psyche to behave in a manner that results in improvement of the next generation. In reality reading will not solve all our problems, but it is a vital step in beginning to solve them.
Written by: Livity
Image byL Flckr/Rod Library