Writer Name: Donnell Hicks
Journal Topic: Pick up a book and READ!
We live in a society that is very much dominated by the use of technology such as the iPad, iPhone, and reading devices like the Barnes and Nobel Nook and Amazon Kindle. I won’t say everyone doesn’t like to read; for the reason that there are some people who adore reading. It’s a fifty-fifty toss up, particularly in the African-American community throughout the United States. In my opinion, reading a book or magazine is very imperative not only to our children but especially to adults. It enhances the mind and broadens one’s vocabulary. Reading gives us a sense of awareness on issues that are affecting the African-American community including socioeconomic issues like HIV/AIDS, the high unemployment rate (which is a very big topic within the African-American community throughout the United States), lack of education, and healthcare. Most adults aren’t attentive to these major problems that need to be addressed.
I often ask my friends and family members if they like to read. The answers I always hear on a daily basis are: “I hate reading,” “Reading is for suckers,” “Reading a book is boring and it’ll make you out to be a nerd.” What is wrong with picking up a book, a magazine, or a newspaper every now and again to spend at least five to ten minutes reading? We always tell the children to pick up a book and read after doing homework instead of sitting in front of the television watching rappers in music videos, cartoons or playing video games on the computer for several hours.
Within the African-American community there is an enormous literacy gap between those of our Caucasian, Hispanic, and Asian counterparts. Some will blame the literacy gap on the socioeconomic condition a young African-American male or female is dealing with on occasions. Lack of parents’ reading to their children for two hours a day will indeed affect the child in the classroom which will bring on a rise in the high school dropout rate.
On the contrary, some adults read either books, magazines, or the newspaper. I feel like it doesn’t matter what age a person is, reading is very important in all stages in life. Just the mere thought years following slavery, our forefathers and foremothers couldn’t read or write to help save their lives. In order for them to cast a single vote they had to read or they would be turned away from the voting polls.
Essentially, it is important to know and have and understanding about our culture as African-Americans and the issues we still face as a human race within the United States. All of us have to band together and instill literacy into the lives of our children, young adults, and the adults. If we’re not gaining the knowledge to succeed by reading we’re lagging behind other cultures. There’s not a problem recognizing and reading about the ongoing battle in the political arena amid the upcoming presidential election on who will win the white house this November. The presidential policies will deeply affect everyone in the African-American community. Parents have to step up to the plate and so do the young adults to end the literacy gap for the next century and for our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Like the old saying goes “Knowledge is Power.”