- Apr 7, 2013
Somehow you missed this? The Foreword and Introduction to the book, "Black People Don't Read?":sigh
Just because someone writes a book saying, 2 + 2 = 6, doesn't make it true
I love the spirit of Ivory and Janks. They bring truth and a different perspective on Black issues. Over my career, I have always promoted solutions over problems. I have noticed during interviews if it’s on my book, The Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys, the phone lines are all lit to talk about the problem. When I do an interview on Solutions for Black America there are very few callers. If I mention the large Black Male prison population the crowd hollers, but if I mention a record setting number of Black Males in college, the crowd is silent. Why? Read this powerful book by two very sincere brothers who have done the research and have good intentions to empower our community. Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu -Author: “There is Nothing Wrong with Black Students.”
- 10. PREFACE BLACK PEOPLE DON’T READ is a comprehensive summary of Data and Statistics from the most recent U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Justice, Department of Education and other agencies on the state Blacks in America. BLACK PEOPLE DON’T READ was inspired by the Facebook Campaign entitled 10 DAYS OF BLACK TRUTHS and is a collaboration between researcher Dr. Ivory Toldson and activist Janks Morton. BLACK PEOPLE DON’T READ is a tool to not only refute the plethora of misinformation that exists about Black Male Identity, but also as a conversation starter for the many positive Black Male Achievements, too often missed by the media and seldom discussed at the barbershop. BLACK PEOPLE DON’T READ works as a companion piece to the documentary entitled HOODWINKED, and expands further upon data
- 11. and statistics cited in the film.
- 12. INTRODUCTION
- 13. Why Did You Pick Up This Book? Let’s be honest with each other, shall we? You saw the title BLACK PEOPLE DON’T READ and thought something along the lines of “Here we go with this foolishness, again.” More gloom and doom, crisis and calamity, and bad news about Black people; but ultimately, the question still remains, why did you pick up this book? As long as we are being honest, let me share some insights as to how the title came about. I have access to thousands of individuals through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social networking sites, so in the early inception of this book, the original title was to be “BLACK FACTS: 10 things you need to know about Black Men.” Nice right? Well in conversations with one of my dearest friends, I was telling him about the controversy created by the 10 DAYS OF BLACK
- 14. TRUTHS campaign that this book is based upon, and how the positive message of African American achievements were being assaulted full on by an array of persons in those same social networks. This harsh reality, which made me look at the original title, and wonder why there wasn’t much excitement about the release of an all- encompassing evidence and statistical-based manual on Black America. So understanding how we have been conditioned to watch the train wreck, tune into the tragedy, and sit riveted during the debauchery, I worked up the book cover, posted it to Facebook and tested the title BLACK PEOPLE DON’T READ. Well, of course the ensuing debate convinced me that in order for people to be motivated or curious enough to pick up and begin to look at the positive data in this book, I would be required to play the same Madison avenue-six o’clock news-Media debauchery that has monopolized the consciousness of the African American Community. We all have been conditioned to tune-
- 15. in to the sensationalized catastrophic plight of African Americans, hence the title BLACK PEOPLE DON’T READ. So please forgive me if the title appears to be a bait and switch—rest assured it is not, nor was it my intention. BLACK PEOPLE DON”T READ is a title illuminating a vitriolic stereotype that haunts African Americans to this day. Black People don’t read, can’t swim, don’t tip, are shiftless, promiscuous, and a host of other negative castigations, which stupefy and whittle down the mosaic of a beautiful people to a frayed and obtuse narrative reflective of a splinter of our experience. BLACK PEOPLE DON’T READ , will take on some of the common misperceptions, misrepresentations, misinformation and flat out lies about African Americans, and then teach you where the data comes from, how organizations massage and manipulate that data, while also providing a positive lens on the progress made by a people sorely shackled by the burden of our
- 16. collective maligned identity.
- 17. 10 Days of Black Truths I think it best, at this juncture, to explain why each chapter will conclude with several comments in a closing section titled, “THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE OBJECTIONABLE”. During the 10 DAY OF BLACK TRUTHS campaign launched exclusively via Facebook, the infographics with statistical claims were shared by over 30,000 Facebook users, reached over 475,000 pages and stirred up quite the debate around the data points and statistical evidence. Of note, this data was not extrapolated or re- interpreted for any formal study or published research paper, these were simply exact data and percentages pulled directly from U.S. Government agencies’ websites, and placed into the infographic slates. Moving forward, each chapter in this book will be based around the slates and explained further for your reference.
- 18. So why all the fuss on Facebook? The tumult on Twitter? Why the beef on the blogs? The binding premise for these series of objections and the thousands of comments was simply this; the information being shared was so far removed from “perceived common knowledge” about African Americans, it had to be incorrect. And when I say fuss, I am definitely guilty of the all-time understatement about disputes on Black statistics. The term uncivil warfare would probably be a more enlightening descript of what transpired. Trust that I understand why the hostilities ensued. Because the statistical claims in the 10 DAYS OF BLACK TRUTHS series were sending a message diametrically opposed to what we all have heard, there was certainly going to be resistance, doubt, hesitation, denial, deflation, discrediting and dismissal of the evidence presented. That being said, certain typologies of persons began to emerge with consistency, and without falling
- 19. Screenshot of Facebook Data and trends during the 10 DAYS OF BLACK TRUTHS online campaign into the trappings of stereotyping, for arguments sake, I will attempt to address the concerns presented during the online discussion. Moving forward in each section, triaging these archetypes will help to identify the types of objections and whether that objection was valid or invalid. Segmenting these objections will also expose some of the logical (and consistent) fallacies that were outside the bounds of the statistical claims and generally take away from the point being made in the respective infographic. Finally, of note, there were also some very disturbing narratives that emerged as well, and because you, who are now the possessor of this groundbreaking and paradigm shifting information, will quite surely encounter these same types of resistors, you will be better prepared to quickly discern the objections, and understand the motivations behind each objection type. So, let’s have at it shall we? In no particular order, here are the types of objections you will
- 20. surely encounter, and be sure to keep this book and the evidence hidden until after the resistor spends 5-10 minutes making their point:
- 21. Objection Typologies “ Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn't fit in with the core belief.” ― Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks These are actual comments taken directly from the infographics posted on Facebook (cut, copied, pasted, and placed unedited so there will be grammatical and punctuation and a few other errors, but affixed as is, so that the original intent and messaging remains intact with the one exception that names are changed or abbreviated). So, before you lend comment to these statistics,
- 22. read these responses, and ask this… Is what I have to say elevating or deflating Black Identity? THE PROMISE OF A PEOPLE – If we had a nation of these persons, the real work could begin...
The title of the book is a COME-ON! The authors clearly state that the ONLY reason they titled it that was to get people to read it. When they put a "positive" title on the book, “BLACK FACTS: 10 things you need to know about Black Men,” no one read it. When they changed it to the "negative" title, "Black People don't Read," people like our dear sister, Fine, grab onto it because it (the title - ONLY) reinforces their core beliefs, given to them by white propaganda, about the inferiority of black people.