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

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Class #6

 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.

Subject Matter

Read the following Extract and think about it. Then read the Explanation and compare your thoughts to those in the Explanation.

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Class #6 Reading Extract [Top] (From Black Smart, page 118)

We publish The People's Newsletter in order to reveal many of the contradictions among Black People that keep Us from moving, that keep Us from making real progress. More directly put, we publish the People's Newsletter in order to tell you, the reader, and other Black persons what you do that indicates and proves that you are not ready to be free, are not ready to determine your own destiny, are not ready to build a nation that will represent the will of Black people; and we dare you to challenge such a statement by simply asking you to check yourself out. You ask why certain things keep oppressing you and why certain changes don't come about; we say because you don't act to bring them about.

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Explanation of Class #6 Extract

This is an extract that is relatively simple to understand. Its message is almost stated outright: changes come about if individuals and people act to bring them about. Acting is the key, so acting is what is emphasized.

What needs to be pointed out about this extract, for the benefit of those taking Reading 101, are a couple of its nuances. Nuances are "little things" that have meaning and enhances a readers understanding of what was read. However, if a reader fails to detect a nuance, s/he can still get the gist of what was written, only slightly less profoundly.

For instance, the following nuance occurs:

"...contradictions among Black People that keep Us from moving, that keep Us from making real progress."

The phrase "that keep Us from making real progress" is more than a clarification of the phrase "that keep Us from moving." Adept readers will understand that people can move without making any progress at all, that motion can not be equated to progress. Other readers will only understand that Black People have been moving and getting results, but questionable results and results that are unworthy of the efforts being put forth. Each understanding is correct, but the reader who grasps both understandings will understand better.

A second nuance occurs in the repetition of the phrase "are not ready to." If that phrase were mentioned only once, the message would be clear. However, by repeating it each time, the author forces the reader to spend more time processing that reference than s/he might otherwise spend. Some readers would charge that there is an unnecessary repetition, but that phrase is of primary importance to the writer, so the writer repeats it without abusing the structure of the extract.

In addition, both of these nuances share an essential quality: each helps to maintain the rhythmic flow of the message. Rhythm is an essential part of Black People's communications processes. Since this author writes in "Black talk," he uses phrases to help maintain a rhythm and increase his chances of maintaining his connection with the reader.

Reread the extract!

Questions? Email aset@asetbooks.com and list your course title as the subject.

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