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Reading’s Racial Disparity

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Thursday, August 30, 2007

Back to School: The First ‘R’ / Race

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Seven members of the monthly reading group Sisters That Are Readers (STARS) gather at the Homewood Library. Clockwise from bottom left, are Nichole Jordan, M. Gayle Moss, Mercedes Taylor, Velma Harris, Denice Coker, Vivian Shelton and Donna Stilo.

When it comes to reading, race can matter.

A young black male has a better chance of getting teased for reading books instead of playing sports. Black children are less likely to have parents who read to them at an early age and expose them to books.

Until recently, black adults were largely ignored by some book publishers who believed black people don’t read books. And many black people had not been reading books because there were fewer books on the market that appealed to them.

“The racial disparity in reading is a reflection of the differences in the kinds of backgrounds that children enjoy,” said Helen Faison, director of the Pittsburgh Teachers Institute at Chatham University.

“We have to surround children early on with reading,” Ms. Faison said. “You have to create an environment where books are everywhere.”



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