Do Black People Read? The Digital Reading Divide Debate

Now that we have your attention, this is a subject worth a book full of pimpformation on the subject itself, if individuals were to read it that is. Here is an excerpt from an interesting and relevant point of interest regarding the subject that was in my news list for today.

(Reuters) – The rapid rise of e-books could lead to a “reading divide” as those unable to afford the new technology are left behind, even as U.S. reading and writing skills decline still further.

At particular threat are African-American communities where many students are already falling behind their majority peers in terms of literacy, said award-winning writer Marita Golden — and this despite the growing ranks of noted African-American writers, such as Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison.

“My biggest concern is that the technology will continue to widen the gap,” she told Reuters. “It won’t just be the digital divide but also a reading divide if reading becomes an activity that’s now dependent on technology.

“If reading becomes dependent on technology that must be purchased, then I think we may see the literacy divide persist and even widen.”


The debate has been in existence for decades and now takes on a new dynamic with the advancement of new media in the information age and the article does go on to touch on the study that shows that at the same exact time, African Americans actually purchase  smartphones at a higher rate than Caucasians with all of the “first to buy the phone, and last to pay the bill” theories included, yet with the choice of downloading games and music versus downloading books, it remains to be seen whether or not the demand for books and digital print will increase.

From an insiders perspective, I believe that it will primarily show to be a case of developing content that is better understood and relative to the outlooks and life experiences of African Americans and other urban youth as the primary source of content which serves this demand is distributed within audio and video formats with reading and writing left to texting and email communication.

I searched to find a well read piece of urban literature to see if it was available in digital format for the Kindle device and other e Book formats, and since it is as pictured above, I believe that it will show to be more of a matter of marketing and making the devices and content more inviting to individuals who may feel left out by educating them on a subconscious and subliminal level about the fact that whether in digital or paper format, the rules of the game are still the same, one of which is as follows.

If it’s good to you, then it’s good for you.

A different perspective to consider.