Malleable Under Street Lit

Submitted By asiabd
Words: 2396
Pages: 10

Malleable Under Street Lit
Asia Dukes (940204898)
Winston-Salem State University

Did I choose you to be my parents? Did I choose to come to your household? As I watched the sunset and sunrise, Day by day, wondering and lamenting…Why me? As I looked around and saw the harsh reality of my living; Hand to mouth, year to year, what irony of fate, what a cycle? Innocence, ignorance, poverty, maybe illiteracy. I looked into the sky, Pondered over the hopelessness, Expecting the Supreme Being to answer the many questions. My main question is Why me? Maybe breaking the cycle entails removing one piece; the piece of Illiteracy. I held onto the hope for a better tomorrow While still asking Why me? Through all these vicissitudes and challenges, are these surmountable? Looking into the horizon, Believing in the Omni-present, Omni-potent, Continuously asking why me? Believing in myself, Believing in the sheer power of youthful determination, the doggedness to change the star, to break that vicious cycle, Why me? Each day she enters the library trailing behind her friends to sign out a book-one they suggest or something near that’s fat and impressive. “I could never read a book that thick!” “I heard that author is great!” She settles into her seat, and during silent reading she opens to the middle and flips pages occasionally looking at the cryptic shapes arranged on the page to find words she knows, but mostly her eyes are elsewhere as she turns the page, stealthily, wondering what others see when they read, wondering if they are pretending, wondering if anyone notices. At the end of each class, its mysteries too deep to decipher she drops the book into the library bin. “Are you done already?” “Yes. It was really good.”
Over the last couple decade’s technology has evolved in epic proportions. It is no secret that the millennial generation and those following behind them are going to grow up surrounded by technological advances. A downfall of these technological advances though is the loss of interest in reading books. Teachers are devastated by the thought and are constantly searching for ways to spark a student’s interest in reading. Urban fiction, or street lit, is a book genre that discusses life in urban communities, also known as the hood or ghetto. Young African American students, some as young as twelve, commonly read this genre; with that said teachers are now debating whether or not to implement these books into their curriculums. Street lit will hinder the Black youth, which will eventually affect the entire Black community since the youth is the future. Urban literature should not be allowed in the hands of the adolescence of any race, but especially in the hands of Black youth because the genre promotes linguistic challenges, glorifies an illegal lifestyle, and is excessively sexually explicit. In lower class communities one of the major problems found in schools is that students do not read on grade level. On average, African American twelfth-grade students read at the same level as white
eighth-grade students. The twelfth-grade reading scores of African American males were significantly lower than
those for men and women across every other racial and ethnic group. Only fourteen percent of African American eighth graders score at or above the proficient level (Thompson, 2011.) These results reveal that millions of young people cannot understand or evaluate text, provide relevant details, or support inferences about the written documents they read. When students know they cannot read well they are discouraged from reading at all. Naturally, when a teacher sees a struggling student pick up a book and read page after page, they hardly care what the book is. Urban fiction is often poorly edited; grammatical errors and misspelled words are just a few mistakes that can be found all throughout the books. When a student who is already struggling to read begins to read this genre they are