Witty Wednesday-Is Reading Fundamental?

Thanks to the homey @MsRasberry I came across this article.  If you don’t want to read it (or haven’t read it), it’s regarding University of Connecticut basketball player Kemba Walker, who read a book for the first time, cover to cover, just a few weeks ago at the age of 20.  Yes, you read correctly.  I don’t know if that includes children’s books, but regardless, this isn’t necessarily something of which to be proud.  Oh, did you get the title of the book?  It’s Forty-Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall and Redemption of a Black Athlete  by William C. Rhoden.  Ironic, isn’t it???

So let’s discuss-This young man, who is graduating college a year early to enter the 2011 NBA draft, has gone through 12+ years of school without reading a book.  Even after reading the book, Walker still wants to enter the draft.  Walker attends a higher institution of learning and was admitted into this college without having read a book.  I’m not sure about you guys, but I don’t know how many book reports I had to do growing up, but I read every book (well, except that one time when I got Cliff’s Notes…)  In any event, this is disturbing on so many levels!  What most are wondering is did Kemba choose not read or can he not read?  I would like to say maybe he didn’t choose to read since he was able to get through Rhoden’s book. 

Did Walker get pushed through school for his athletic prowess and not because he did well in his classes?  It’s so disheartening to see another young Black athlete get treated this way.  And it’s like this situation is a double-edged sword.  While he’s graduating a year early, he obviously can’t be a dummy because he’s getting his degree, right?  Or is this just another example of some young kid wanting to play professionally a little too quickly?  Who’s to stop this vicious cycle?  Or will it go on forever, as long as their are sports fans with the means and money to continue to see these young Black bucks playing for dollars?  Are we teaching our children that as long as you are a star on the baseball diamond, basketball court, or football field, you don’t need to read-just do well playing your game and you’ll get a free ride to play college ball then move on to play in the big leagues.  If this is what we’re teaching, we need to come up with a new lesson plan.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.