Home > Editorial, The Industry Cosign > Black and Illiterate: We Can’t Read, But We sure Can Watch TV

Black and Illiterate: We Can’t Read, But We sure Can Watch TV


By Torrance Stephens

Hypothetically, let us assume there is a young man who has just finished school, and he is attempting to decide where he will move on to for his personal professional development. In this process, he meets with several interesting entities, of which many offer him incentives to select their organization, for they see great talent and how he could add to their bottom line in being profitable. In some cases he is wined and dined and set up in expensive hotels with access to host who are female. In others he is given envelopes with money and in one case a backpack or briefcase filled with stacks of money. My question is what is this persons occupation and is it illegal?

A while back I wrote a piece describing the manner in which many African Americans do not take full advantage of social media. In addition I am frequently speaking out to bring attention to the fact that reading is slowly falling off among members in our community. Each time, I obtained vehement ridicule and slander for my assertions, especially when I assert that African Americans watch more television than they read; or that they use cell phones more than any other ethnic/racial population in the United States.

Now a new report has just been released confirming that Blacks watch and spend entirely too much time watching television. Nielsen’s latest State of the Media fact documents that in the second quarter of 2010, the amount of television viewing in the U.S. remains high suggesting that the average person watched more than 143 hours of television per month. African Americans indicated the highest rate of total TV usage, according to study released this past Wednesday.

Based on data collected In November 2010, African Americans used their TVs an average of 7 hours, 12 minutes each day — above the U.S. average of 5 hours, 11 minutes. In addition, African Americans reported using their DVD players and video game consoles more than average. In contrast, Asians watched TV the least, at just 3 hours and 14 minutes a day on average.

This in concert with African Americans being be among the most active users of the mobile web and . On average more than 1,300 a month, may eventually become a problem behavior. Many health problems are the direct result of lack of regular physical activity which African Americans report more than other ethnic racial groups including, Heart Attack, Stroke, Diabetes and High Blood pressure. Do not been mention obesity, for which we know the largest racial/ethnic disparity in obesity is between US-born black women and other ethnic population in America.

Reading is definitely a major concern. A recent study in Wisconsin noted that 91% of Black students are not reading proficiently by 4th grade. These were comparable to findings across the nation. According to the Schott Foundation for Public Education, only 41 percent of African American male youth graduate from high school in the United States and acording to the National Association of Educational Progress, nationally 69 percent of African American children canot read at grade level in the 4th grade compared to 29 percent among whites.

Maybe this is why Africa Americans (including women), albeit just 12% of the U.S. population comprise only 3.2% of lawyers, 3% of doctors, and less than 1% of architects. A strange phenomena when Africans Americans make up 85 percent of the NBA, 68 percent of the NFL and 98 percent of all rappers. This may be an additional sign that we as a community watch too much television and need to read more, for I am certain when they do see African American males, if they are young boys, they are not scientist or people reading books.

Reading as well as regular physical activity is essential for the development of a health mind, body and spirit. Let us move away from the televisions, go outside and pick up a book before it is too late.

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