Reading 101 Textbook: None. Selected writings found online will constitute the textbook. Instructor: Mba Mbulu

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Class #4

 Review

 Lesson

 Explanation

In previous classes we have discussed some important hints. Included are:

(1) Assume a comfortable position, but get out of it every eight to ten minutes.

(2) Practice blinking while you read.

(3) If a sentence "loses" you, reread that sentence until you have pinpointed the source of that confusion.

(4) Don't worry about what others might think when you read.

(5) Think about what you read.

(6) Keep a good dictionary within reach.

More Hints

(1) There is no standard speed factor related to reading. Reading is all about recognizing terms and sentences, thinking, understanding and interpreting. The more you read, the better you recognize terms and sentences. The better you recognize terms and sentences, the more capable you are of following a train of thought, understanding what is being said and keeping your interpretations within supportable boundaries.

(2) A reader is not obligated to reach the same conclusions as the writer. A writer builds a bridge that is supposed to take the reader to the understanding the writer is trying to pass along. However, what the writer is trying to say means less, in the final analysis, than what the reader "understands." The better at reading one becomes, the more capable s/he is of supporting the "understanding" s/he gets.

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Class #4 Reading Extract [Top]

[Taken from Ten Lessons: An Introduction to Black History (Mbulu), p. 71-72]

"Have Black People Made It?"

Black People have made it to the suburbs, where We live next door to white people in houses and apartments and stand in line with white people in department stores and quick food restaurants. Black People have made it to white schools, where We learn to speak white languages and tell white lies just like white people do. Black People have made it to the beauty parlors, where We straighten Our hair, squeeze Our noses and make Our thick lips thin so We can look like white people look. And, Black People have made it away from the used car lots; now We can buy a brand new car and make it to the Capital Centre (a place of recreation) in style. If these things are what equality is all about, the black People have certainly made it.

But, do Black People have independent land of Our own where We can grow food Black People need in order to survive? No, We don't, but white people do. Do Black People have a government of Our own that makes the laws that Black People live by? No, We don't, but white people do. Do Black People have an army of Our own that will defend Us against foreigners who attack Us? No, We don't, but white people do. Do Black People have an economy of Our own, one which focuses on the economic well-being of Black People? No, We don't, but white people do. And, do Black People have a social structure of Our own, one that will direct Us in Our personal and interpersonal relationships? No, We don't, but white people do. It follows then, that if these things are what equality is all about, Black People certainly have not made it.

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Explanation of Class #4 Extract

How people define terms are determined by what they have been exposed to. As the explanation of Class #3 stated: "The expectations of people determine how they imagine and define important terms and what they try to accomplish. Early Blacks were dominated by their African roots. They were educated, had known civilization and equality and had experienced power. Therefore, they imagined A-grade versions of these and other important concepts. The Blacks of the mid 1800s were products of two centuries of slavery and limited exposure. They imagined C-grade versions of the same concepts and passed that on to the generations of Blacks that followed."

The Blacks who recognize equality as control and ownership of goods and services possess A-grade standards. The Blacks who define equality in terms of an individual's ability to acquire or purchase material goods and services possess C-grade standards. They have "missed the boat," so to speak.

Reread the extract!

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