Reading is a Human Right

Submitted by Melissa Martin, Ph.D, is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She lives in U.S

Give your brain a workout—read a book. Pump up the muscle mass between your two ears. Reading is that important. And people in all countries around the globe deserve the right to learn to read.

Literacy for All

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) estimates that 175 million young people lack basic literacy skills. To address the issues, UNESCO Regional Office of Southern Africa (ROSA) is supporting programs and activities to develop quality literacy materials for literacy educators and learners through integrating mother language in literacy teaching and learning. Fifty-two years ago, UNESCO officially declared September 8 International Literacy Day, with the goal of highlighting literacy as a human rights issue.

In 2018, The International Literacy Association developed the Children’s Rights to Read project.The Case for Children’s Rights to Read lists 10 fundamental Reading Rights.

According to Atlas (2017), the 25 most illiterate countries include: South Sudan, Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Chad, Somalia, Ethiopia, Guinea, Benin, Sierra Leone, Haiti, Senegal, The Gambia, Bhutan, Pakistan, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Nepal, Bangladesh, Timor-Leste, Mauritania, Togo.

Children Need Books

Family Scholarly Culture and Educational Success: Books and Schooling in 27 Nations, a 2010 article in the ScienceDirect Journal found that “Children growing up in homes with many books get 3 years more schooling than children from bookless homes, independent of their parents’ education, occupation, and class.”

Children need to see other kids that look like themselves in picture books. Why? Kids of color need to be represented in literature to show they are important in the world and that they matter. We Need Diverse Books is an organization with a vision of “a world in which all children can see themselves in the pages of a book.” Find more information at

Diverse books, both fiction and nonfiction, help kids understand that even though children look different on the outside, they are all the same on the inside. Our homes, schools, libraries, and communities need diverse books on bookshelves.

Celebrate Children’s Book Week

With Children’s Book Week turning 100 years old in 2019, Every Child a Reader and the Children’s Book Council have announced plans for a celebration. The 100th Anniversary theme is Read Now—Read Forever. Look to the past, present, and most important, the future of children’s books. Children’s Book Week is April 29 – May 5, 2019. Happy Birthday to Children’s Book Week!

Established in 1919, Children’s Book Week is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the U.S. Every year, events are held nationwide at schools, libraries, bookstores, and homes.

Raising Readers

Why is it important to expose babies, toddlers, and younger children to the world of books? Why is it important to read aloud to babies and toddlers? Why is it important to make reading fun for children?

Parents are a child’s first teachers, first role models, and first communicators; talking, listening, singing, making sounds, smiling, laughing, and hugging. Homes are the building blocks of society. “Children are made readers on the laps of their parents,” surmised Emilie Buchwald.

“Learning to read and write doesn’t start in kindergarten or first grade. Developing language and literacy skills begins at birth through everyday loving interactions, such as sharing books, telling stories, singing songs and talking to one another.”

“Children learn to love the sound of language before they even notice the existence of printed words on a page. Reading books aloud to children stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world. It helps them develop language and listening skills and prepares them to understand the written word. When the rhythm and melody of language become a part of a child’s life, learning to read will be as natural as learning to walk and talk.”

“It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations—something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own.”—Katherine Patterson


  • I have to agree with Dullard. How can someone whose posts to everything on BU is based on crooked lawyers and politicians assisting white minorities to rob the treasury and pension fund, who talks about black people are still enslaved by whites, how we as black people should break the shackles of our former white slave masters and how we as black people should stick together, yet this same woman is proud to say she is married to a white man.

    Her husband and in-laws are the very same white people she portrays on this blog to hate.

    Is this not the same thing as sucking up to white people, leaving on the shackles of our former white slave masters, or being under the control of whites?

    In others words, this woman spew a lot of anti-white crap on BU, but is shameless to admit she married a white man.

    If that is not height of hypocrisy, then l don’t know what is.


  • White people only deploy ‘human rights’ instrumentally.

    White people never cared about any human rights, not even of other White people, far less the owners of the universe.

    Recently they have even twisted international human rights law to declare ‘humanitarian wars’ on Libya, on Syria, on Yemen, on Mali, on Venezuela. Under the specious notion of a ‘right to protect’.

    Under the rubric of human rights the IRI has been under sanctions for 40 years. And Iran is, by far, the most ‘progressive’ country in West/Central Asia.

    Even Russia is cited as a human rights violator. Not because it is necessarily true but it is a basis on which a perennial hybrid warfare can be conducted.

    None of this is about human rights or a ‘right to read’. It is about what it has always been about for 2000 years. A White supremacist acili.

    Up to now we can’t get any human rights for 400 years of chattel slavery. But these same people have the ‘facetiness’ to come bout the place taking shiiiite.

    And the billions of idiots who walk around saying that they are Christians, like GEORGIE PORGIE, only further this White supremacist ethos.

    We say kiss our rasssoul to all these huskers of White supremacy under the guise of human ‘wrongs’.


  • I sure miss GOVT45


  • WARU, Crazy & Unstable, Hogging the Blog

    …”yet this same woman is proud to say she is married to a white man.”

    And i will stay married to him u jealous minded shitehounds….if you spent 2 nights wuth me…you will certainly have a new and improved respect for my husband…trust me…

    So…why the hell dont one of you take over what i am doing…when i go off BU for a couple days..neither if u can adequately fill the vaccum…so quit being jealous of my husband, some days u would not want to be him.

    The whites and others in Barbados…cannot rob the island by themselves…they cannot do it wihout the HELP OF CORRUPT BLACK GOVERNMENTS……that is the reality…so at the end of the day, they are only doing what your WICKED BLACK GOVERNMENTS ALLOWED THEM TO DO…..and still are…

    if Mia would lock up 2 ministers and 2 whites and indians in Barbados…her criminal friends…ya will see the difference.


  • WARU, Crazy & Unstable, Hogging the Blog

    “White people never cared about any human rights, not even of other White people, far less the owners of the universe.”

    Say it louder so it will stick in the miseducated, uninformed brains of BUs shitehounds….cause they live in a vacuum and live only to pimping in other people’s bedroom to dictate not only who they sleep with…but whom they marry…

    shitehounds extraordinaire still do not understand that WE ARE THE ORIGINAL PEOPLES OF THE EARTH…..OUR claim to Africa’s wealth is GUARANTEED….but no, they prefer be voyeurs…peeping into my


  • Why should anyone be jealous of you and your white husband?

    Take over what you’re doing? And tell us what exactly is it that you’re doing other than repeating the same things every day?

    If you’re off BU even for a week, anyone could adequately fill the vacuum. All they have to do are four things and you’re covered.

    Respond to every single post by talking about crooked lawyers and politicians assisting white minorities to rob the treasury and pension fund.
    Keep mentioning COW, Bizzy, Maloney, Bjerkham and Peter Harris.
    Copy and paste irrelevant nonsense from Facebook, Naked Departure etc, and respond to It, when you don’t have nothing to say about the topic.
    Troll Facebook to post videos of the face contortionist Jackie Stewart who repeats herself just like you.


  • Pachamama said “White people never cared about any human rights, not even of other White people, far less the owners of the universe.”

    You responded with “Say it louder so it will stick in the miseducated, uninformed brains of BUs shitehounds….cause they live in a vacuum…..”

    Are you trying to tell us that those of us who are not married to a white man or woman are miseducated and uninformed?

    Being married to a white man gives you some moral authority?

    If you agree that white people don’t care about human rights, what makes your white husband so special that he cares about yours and your black side of the family?

    You remind me of Hilary Beckles and his days fighting the Mutual. Here was a man telling us about black enfranchisement, yet he sent his children to a private school whose pupils were predominantly white.

    As Dullurd said you have no credibility. No woman who is married to a white man has the moral authority to tell us anything concerning black unity.


  • History is replete with examples of White people promoting the causes of minorities. One has to assume Pacha is sharing a view at a general level.


  • WARU, Crazy & Unstable, Hogging the Blog

    “Pacha is sharing a view at a general level.”

    Yes…because whites also get the shitty end of the stick from the power crazed…their own people…when they are at the bottom of the totem poll….check out UK and the tens of thousands who are dying unnecessarily….check out US and the disparities in wealth between the east coast and the south.

    It is not as infantile and juvenile as the BU shitehounds are trying to make up…this is about demons who are crazed with power…and want to keep that power and the billions to trillions they rip off at all cost….even if their own people have to take one for the team…by dying..

    @45 is my friend..i miss him, ah hoping he was not with Lawson traveling and got thrown overboard..


  • WARU,

    Don’t get defensive! Many black men big up the white women over us every day. I’m betting that your husband treated you better than your black boyfriends. If he has made you happy then that’s all there is to it. Not all whites are the same and your problem should be with systemic racism not with individual whites.

    You said that being married to him may have opened your eyes. Do you mind telling me how? This was ridiculed but I can think of ways in which that could happen. I’m wondering if I am correct. It is strange that people don’t understand how one changes and grows over the years. It is quite possible to be ignorant of the issues of which we have spoken here and then have an awakening. One should not be expected to discard a husband who has respected you and treated you as an equal just because others of his complexion do not.

    SMH and awaiting your response. Just between us sisters. lol


  • WARU, Crazy & Unstable, Hogging the Blog

    Donna…don’t mind those jealous wild boys on BU…

    I don’t know if you recall when @45 was doing his number and i said to him he does not need to worry, because the concerns of the most vulnerable whites is that they will be treated as badly as the whites with power…are still treating black people…those things may seem small to some…but they are a big deal to vulnerable whites who do not practice the uppity shite white supremacy that miseducated whites are known to wallow in….just because it enriched their demonic ancestors…and they are still riding on those dead coattails…

    it’s the little things, but they do matter…and raise concerns.

    and much, much more can be learned, if we took the time..

    Ah don’t know why BU crazies like to plant themselves in my bedroom…but 2 nights with me and they will be happy for my husband or anyone to take me off their hands…


  • Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right

    “…Born Helen Pitts (1838 – 1903), Helen Pitts Douglass was a suffragist and abolitionist in the 19th century.

    She is best known for marrying politician and abolitionist reformer Frederick Douglass, an interracial marriage considered surprising and scandalous at the time…”

    Helen Pitts was a white woman.

    Again, while de ole man will be in the castle of my skin until I demit this consciousness, it is important to know which of these keyboard warriors are friends of The Cause and which are avowed enemies

    It is not everyone who chastises me about my language who is against my message about Mugabe, it’s just that many are slower to come to that determination

    But what People are noticing is that the Mugabe Defense Force who are assigned to counter de ole man CANNOT EVER GAINSAY THE FACTS THAT I SUBMIT for your consideration


  • David


    Always seems to be Black people and lackeys who seek to conflate the singularity with plurality.

    Anything to deny the truth about the White institution of international racism from which they both benefit. Not dissimilarly to the human rights fiction.

    But where are the White people who, like sycophants, rise our defense as if a cardinal duty.


  • …vulnerable whites who do not practice the uppity shite white supremacy…

    Poor whites are some of the most racist. White supremacy has nothing to do with the socio-economic level of the perpetrator. See the US south, Eastern Europe , etc.

    But don’t let facts get in the way of your defense of …


  • That is true at least. Poor whites are more racist than rich whites. With rich whites it is mostly about money. Poor whites are ignorant and just need to comfort themselves that they are at least not the at the bottom of the heap and so they beat up on the black man. Today Trump and others have bolstered the racism in these poor whites by laying the blame for their economic disenfranchisement at the feet of non-whites. These silly people don’t know that the real enemy is the very people who are making off with the loot, the same people who are stoking up their hatred against non-whites.

    Fred Hampton was attempting to dismantle that stupidity and build a coalition, with some success.. That’s why the FBI assassinated him.


  • WARU, Crazy & Unstable, Hogging the Blog

    So how is that any different to the classism and racism black bajans have been socialized to practice against each other…starting with the as*holes in parliament..

    racism is a social blight and will remain a social blight and curse on the earth no matter who is practicing it against whom..


  • WARU, Crazy & Unstable, Hogging the Blog

    Time to take the debate to another level so that the curse and blight of the scourge that is racism on the earth, can be permanently dismantled..

    Liked by 1 person

  • wonderful… keep sharing such stuff

    Liked by 2 people

  • Reading is an important skill, it’s something everyone should have the opportunity doing, think about it, our rights are not said aloud—they would not be preserved that way, they are written in words.
    Excellent artical…keep sharing your thoughful insights

    Liked by 2 people

  • Reading opens opportunities, but also enables people to research and learn of the past. Recently, I reread the Constitution, and I must admit, had to reread parts to garner a better understanding. I realized that some of the words were related to conversations and concerns of the time, which we don’t hear discussed in these days, at least, not in the same way. All too many people have not the critical thinking skills to read higher level readings or even classical books. Comprehension is something that develops over time, with use and effort, but also contemplation of important issues.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Is this good literary journalism? Why do readers accept this level of reporting?

    Paule Marshall, who channelled the often marginalised experiences of women, African Americans and West Indians into lyrical, passionate and politically charged fiction, notably in her debut novel Brown Girl, Brownstones, died August 12 at a care centre in Richmond.

    She was 90.
    Her son, Evan K. Marshall, said she had dementia that worsened in the past four months. Marshall’s death comes one week after that of Toni Morrison, the Nobel Prize-winning novelist of Beloved and Song of Solomon.
    “This is a grieving season for Black literature,” Imani Perry, a Princeton University professor of African American studies, said on Twitter, amid early reports of Marshall’s death.
    The daughter of Barbadian immigrants, Marshall wrote about race, gender and cultural identity, focusing on the African diaspora in the Caribbean and United States. Her protagonists were almost always women – black women – who possessed a power and self-assurance that was rarely seen in print when she began writing in the 1950s. She also taught English and creative writing at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond and New York University.
    Among her works are The Chosen Place, The Timeless People, Praisesong for the Widow, Soul Clap Hands and Sing, Daughters, The Fisher King and Triangular Road.
    The daughter of Adriana and Sam Burke, who migrated to New York from Barbados in 1919, was born Valenza Pauline Burke on April 9, 1929, but later changed her name to Paule.
    In May 2016, Marshall was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 3rd annual BIM Literary Festival and Book Fair. Her son Evan accepted on her behalf.
    (Excerpts from this article were taken from the Washington Post.)(Quote)


  • Pingback: Reading is a Human Right — Barbados Underground | Slattery's Magazine

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