Jun. 2, 2019

The Blackman Who Reads Aloud Reads Malcolm X

If you have an understanding of the importance of literacy. You will agree with me that until every young black male is past the point of reading at a barely functional level. Our communities will continue to struggle with the problems related to high levels of illiteracy. You may read an article that detailed that 3/4 of California young black males are failing that state's reading proficiency tests. This is simply a deplorable situation, a situation that should be unacceptable as well. Yet, every day in this nation black youths wake up to the reality of not being able to read or barely read a job application, a simple children's book to a child, the how-to put together directions, the US Constitution, the names on a ballot box, and the computer screen or cell phone screen. The importance of literacy is more vital today than at any time in our history. Why? Because technology is outpacing the unskilled, uneducated adult eliminating the need for them in an evolving society.

You know who was at one time illiterate but changed the course of history for so many peoples in this country? Yes Malcolm X, was illiterate, or barely functionally literate. It took being surrounded by prison walls to release Malcolm X from this state of ignorance. We need to stop the cycle of black men becoming literate once incarcerated. We must change the equation to eliminating the jail cell from the equation. If we are truly going to create more vibrant, active, and engage brothers working collectively to build enlightening conscious communities. Stop the prison chain collective and create the literate strategic thinker collective. So, today, I bring to my blog the words of Malcolm X, who self-taught​ himself the skill of literacy. Yes, reading is a skill. It is complex and demanding but once it has been mastered. It can totally change your life and open up a world of opportunities to you.

Malcolm X understood the power of words and spent his entire life mastering the skill of reading comprehension. He communicated to his audiences whenever possible to need for them to become strategic in thought and action by mastering literacy. Where is that defiant spirit in today's young black males? Is the absence of that spirit related in any way to declining numbers of black boys learning to read? If we are to become the independent growing communities that Malcolm X envisioned then we cannot fail to engage our black youth in mastering the skill of reading.

One that goal is accomplished we can recapture the energies that existed during the time Malcolm X walked the earth. The desire and want​-​to for acquiring black knowledge will be rediscovered. Today, The Blackman Who Reads Alouds goes to the words our ancestor Malcolm X from a summer Harlem, NY Rally in 1960.