Education, Point of View // 02.01.2012

We Have No Excuse for Being Ignorant-Part One

Article by Abena A-T

The following article was written by Sandra Idossou, customer service consultant, publisher of The Service Mag and a Tempo Magazine feature.

“The best way to hide something from Black people is to put it in a book. We now live in the Information Age. They have gained the opportunity to read any book on any subject through the efforts of their fight for freedom, yet they refuse to read. There are numerous books readily available, but few read consistently, if at all”.

This is just a small portion of a long letter that was read on a New York radio station some time ago by a Caucasian man. The title was “Blacks don’t read: They are still our slaves”.

The first time I read this on internet, I got very infuriated by the discriminatory opinions of the writer but with a second thought, I realized that he had a valid point. Many people, especially blacks are ignorant on many issues because they do not read. This is pathetic but sadly true.

Let’s be frank to one another dear reader. When was the last time you read a book? How many of us read today at least one book in a month? Do you have a budget for books or any other reading materials?

Sandra Idossou, Publisher, The Service Mag

Sandra Idossou, Publisher, The Service Mag

I come from a country where it is so common to see every morning people grouped in front of newspaper vendors to be able to catch a glimpse of at least the headlines of the numerous newspapers of the day.

It is even so common to see people walking around town with a newspaper with them. In buses, hair salons, waiting areas in offices etc, it is often that you see people reading. But we can all recognize that the percentage of people who read is simply insignificant.

Sometime ago, I talked to a friend concerning one interesting article that was published in the daily newspaper and her answer shocked me;

“You know what Sandra, when I receive every morning this newspaper, I just glanced through the titles and look for tenders that might be interesting for my business; I do not really read the articles.”

We can all recognize that the general message in the above sarcastic description of the black community is thought-provoking as reading is considered in most cases as a mere primary leisure activity. I am an African and I know that in our culture, we communicate primarily by oral means.

We rather place value on what people say or on what we hear rather than what we find out through print. As a result, we lose sight on the value of reading and getting information by ourselves.

The tragedy today is that, many people especially Africans have no passion to read. In today’s world we receive so much information via radio, television and multimedia experiences yet none of these avenues has the ability to educate as the fundamental skill of reading.

Continue to Part Two


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