THE FIGHT AGAINST FUNCTIONAL ILLITERACY
At first, it was encouraged,
It made economic (Title One/Chapter One) sense
For urban schools to educate, badly,
And, it made for good television and movies
And Hip Hop (Mo’ Money).
Then, it was ignored
As if disassociation w/ignorance
Would make it go away.
Or, at least, not flaunt our shame.
But, then Crack came.
So, in 1985 I wrote the novel, CRIPS,
Then, the movie, “SOUTH CENTRAL”
In 1990 to illuminate the illiterate traditions in the Crip Gang.
And, I used heroes who rose above their shame
To accomplish their missions.
Today, we fight functional illiteracy
With 1000 book giveaways.
We campaign to, finally, eliminate illiteracy
By donating some of the best of our personal libraries.
We are unleashing the power in our precious books
By giving them away.
How many hearts can we heal?
How many minds & souls can we lift up
By giving up
The beautiful books we love?
Instead of hoarding them,
Piling up our wealth of knowledge
Until we pass away, and Someone throws them away.
No, let us take our Prodigious arsenal,and
Slay our ubiquitous menace,