How the Pandemic Affected Black Youth Literacy and What the Conscious Conservative Movement is Doing to Reverse the Curse
Literacy is fundamental to a child's development well into adulthood.
It's one of the reasons I entered the educational system and mastered English Language Arts.
Because I understood at an early age the power of the written and spoken word.
Growing up, literacy was a major part of our Black Conservative household.
It was nothing for Dad to hand me an entire encyclopedia and tell me to write a report on some of its content.
That was just Dad, and he fostered my love for learning for years to come.
But my story is not often a typical one in many American households.
We know this by simply looking at the sheer number of illiterate students and adults in our country.
In another post, I discussed how 85% of Black youths aren't able to read at proficiency level. The numbers are similar when it comes to math proficiency.
Clearly, there is a problem at hand.
But as with any challenge, there will be viable solutions.
The 2020 Plague Further Exposed the Failures of Progressive Education
Back when my daughter was born in 2012, I made the conscious decision not to return to public education teaching. Aside from my personal fears given my traumatic experience in the system, a story I discuss in To My Beloveds, I felt uncomfortable contributing my teaching gifts to other children while neglecting my own.
So, I decided to homeschool her.
This meant I would experience a significant cut in finances. Therefore, it was imperative I develop a new method for generating income, which I discovered through building my online business and virtual ministry.
Fast forward to 2020, my daughter's intellect and reading mastery provide solid evidence of what happens when a child receives first-hand, quality education.
You can tell her level of proficiency by simply holding a conversation with her; and as of this post, she is only 9-years-old.
The 2020 pandemic had no bearing whatsoever on her education, because I had properly prepared her for this moment.
But this isn't, again, the story of the average American student.
Prior to the pandemic, Black children were already suffering from illiteracy.
According to a recent report:
The disruptions to learning that COVID-19 brought, according to the Black Education Research Collective at Columbia University, have made the situation worse. In a July 2021 report, it found that around 45% of Black educator respondents were “extremely” concerned about the academic progress of Black students in the wake of COVID-19, and a little more than 30% of respondents felt that the mental health and wellness of Black students was “extremely impacted.”
Black History has proven why an illiterate ethnic group is beneficial to a government.
In other words, for a certain type of government to "thrive," a significant segment of a population must be dysfunctional.
I argue that is the mission of Progressivism, because everywhere it goes, death, poverty, and destruction follow.
Again, history proves this.
Anti-literacy laws were a natural extension of the slave code system, preventing the enslaved black population from learning how to read in any form (Rush 1773, p. 17). This was important for obvious reasons: Making it illegal for black people to learn to read and write reinforced the notion that Africans were inferior to whites. In the antebellum South, literacy was a sign of intellectual development and, potentially, social mobility—in fact, many white southerners were illiterate, so it was imperative to prevent the blacks from learning to read in order to maintain the myth of white supremacy. Learning to read gave the enslaved access to important information; plantation owners were afraid of the barrage of abolitionist literature flooding the South. News of recent slave insurrections and arguments against slavery as an institution were of particular concern (Carroll 1938, p. 166)." (Source)
Today, while we don't have anti-literacy laws that directly target Black Americans, we have a Progressive educational system that continues receiving funding to keep our students illiterate.
This is proven by the incessant call-to-action to bring millions more into failing institutions rather than funding schools that are changing the game.
'The reality is that Black children weren’t doing well prior to the pandemic,' Anthony said. 'And so it makes perfect sense that what was a cold prior to the pandemic has turned into a severe flu as a result of the pandemic. And so, our issue continues to be a severe one, a nefarious one, and as we look at Black children this isn’t new for us.'
Once again, we see Black educators are complaining about the STRUCTURES within the educational system.
They are telling us that Progressive education, although they won't call it such, is the problem. And in order to fix it, adults must activate.
How the Conscious Conservative Movement is Making a Difference
Within the Conscious Conservative Movement, we aim to make literacy proficiency a norm in predominantly Black communities.
In partnership with independent authors across the country, we raise funds to purchase their empowering books. Then we distribute these books FREELY to local residents in predominantly Black communities. We couple these efforts with our evangelism so Black folks in Georgia learn more about our philosophy and movement.
Since launching My Beloved Books in March 2022, we have seen an openness among Black voters to entertain conversations related to Republicanism and Conservatism.
We want folks to understand the power of the written and spoken word. We want literacy to remain a staple within our Movement because it has the power to remove the barriers that block our communities from experiencing wealth, health, and prosperity.
No government institution will do the work.
No amount of money will ever solve the "functioning illiteracy" among Black youth.
We must do it!
Funding must pivot in the right direction towards the right people doing the right work.
Beloved, when you see folks on the ground, doing the work, contribute directly to them. God has graced each of us with a special task. And when each one functions in his or her respective calling, we will witness the greatest revival and reformation our nation has ever seen.
Stay blessed, Beloved!
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