Dec. 11, 2017

18 Month Checkup: The Blackman's Read Aloud Hour

These are 40 e-books that I have read on Project Uplift Literacy over the past 18 months:


1. Frederick Douglass

2. The Portable Frederick Douglass

3. Down To The Crossroads

4. Be Free Or Die: Robert Smalls

5. Stokely: A Life

6. He Calls Me By Lightning: Caliph Washington

7. The Autobiography of Medgar Evers

8. Bartlett's Familiar Black Quotations

9.  Death of A King: Tavis Smiley

10. Silent Covenants: Brown v. Bd. Of Ed.

11. Writings From WEB DuBois

12. The Senator and the Sharecropper: Fannie Lou Hamer

14. Say It Loud

15. The Covenant With Black America: Tavis Smiley

16. They Say: Ida B. Wells

17. Never Caught: The Relentless Pursuit of Ona Judge By George/Martha Washington 

18. Lay This Body Down

19. A Knock At Midnight

20. Black History: History in an Hour

21. Say It Plain

22. Red Summer 

23. Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community

24. Seeds of Revolution

25. Why We Can't Wait

26. Living Black History

27. Breaking The Line

28. The Warmth of Other Sons

29. Souls Of Black Folks

  1. Radio Free Dixie: Robert Franklin Williams
  2. The Road To Freedom: Charles E. Cobb Jr.
  3. Hope On A Tightrope: Cornel West
  4. The Lost Eleven
  5. Blood At The Root
  6. Policing The Black Man: Angela Davis
  7. Waiting ’Til The Midnight Hour: Penial E. Joseph
  8. Defining Moments in Black History: Reading Between The Lies: Dick Gregory
  9. Selected Writings And Speeches Of Marcus Garvey
  10. At The Hands Of Persons Unknown: Phillip Dray
  11. The Port Chicago 50: Currently Reading


These titles I have read in the program that consists primarily of e-books. This method of engaging in literacy I find to be quite motivating. The ability to manipulate the print size and print style along with on page highlighting is truly beneficial. I didn’t include the many hardcover books I have also on The Blackman’s Read Aloud Hour as well. The Blackman's Read Aloud has completed reading these  40 books from Introduction to Epilogue. The illumination of the issue of issue of adult and youth illiteracy in the black communities is a difficult problem to accept first and conquer second.  Yet in order to recognize a problem, we must admit there is a problem. 


Didn’t a high school in Washington DC, Ballou High School just admit to allowing it’s entire 2016-2017 of graduating with high levels of illiteracy? How could any administrator be so caught up in showing gains that they create those gains to the detriment of those young adults expected to compete in this global economy?  Who really wants to admit publicly or even privately that they have difficulties with the printed word? In the case of illiteracy, you must first admit to the deficiency if you ever really want to free yourself of anxiety that comes with problems not being able to read the printed word.


Many of our ancestors as well as people in our communities have encountered and defeated the enemy of illiteracy. Yes, it is indeed an enemy, one that puts darkness into one’s life when confronted with word meaning, word recognition, word comprehension, and word understanding. You must have a handle on the skill of literacy. Now more than ever you can compete in a global world effectively without being able to read. All around you, the demand for being able to read is ever present. Yes, technology has taken over many aspects of day to day living, however, the presumption of being able to read is an essential element in one’s ability to be able to exist in this ever-changing world. No need to guess what you think it says if you know exactly what it says.  


So today I am doing an 18-month update on the progress of The Blackman Read Aloud Hour. Imagine the amount of non-fiction literature that has been exposed to just one black man reading aloud?  The knowledge of the black man’s contribution to the magnificent history of these United States. Now multiply that by 100 men, 1000 men, 10,0000 men committed to eliminating illiteracy by the simple act of reading aloud. I have aligned black history with black literacy in a strategy to expand one and minimize the other.  So continue to join me from Sunday to Friday between the hours of 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM for the social media Facebook Live sessions of Project Uplift Literacy because this is one Blackman who refuses to believe that all Blackman shouldn’t be able to read and read aloud.