A Tidal Wave of History

Jeremy Smith
Writing Prompt #3
UWRT 1101

In order to further information on how social media and other interactive devices shaped
my literacy narrative I asked my parents what things they used to shape their literacy narrative. I
was quite shocked at the things that they said they used. They definitely didn’t have the same
things that I had due to the difference in technology and the opportunities that were available
during the time period. The tide of history definitely has changed between the generations not
just racially but also socially.
My parents were born in the late 50’s and 60’s in Jackson, MS and Columbus, MS. They
were born in one of the most racially biased states in the entire United States and the south. My
mother was born in a small rural town and lived in a farm that my grandfather owned. That was
beneficial to her because she learned how to read and write through the business transactions
when my family took the produce to the local market. My dad on the other hand had it a little
different. My grandmother is Caucasian and my grandfather is African American. His literacy
narrative was shaped on the fact that my grandmother was Caucasian. He got some of the best
schooling and learning there was in Jackson, MS.
My literacy narrative is shaped on the fact that Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and
other activists of all kind fought for freedom in something. Whether that be gay rights, civil
rights, women’s rights, voting rights, etc. they still shaped my literacy narrative. The first thing
that developed my literacy narrative was an automated system called leap frog that was designed

to teach kids how to read. I remember how there was a pen attached to the little set and when you
touched it to the paper it responded back with something. When reading it would ask you a
question like: “Where is the word ball?”. I had to be able to read and touch with the pen the word
ball. Not only did the leap frog do words but also asked comprehensive questions just to make
sure I understood what I was reading not just reciting the words back because I had to.
My parents didn’t have that type of technology to shape their literacy narrative like I did.
They had the environment in which they lived and grew up in that shaped theirs. The
environment of racism and hatred. The environment where the only way to succeed was to create
your own path and hope that the stones would fall in the right place because society had already
cast them aside and marked them as the failures/won’t be anything. The environment that I grew
up in was the no child left alone. Society was starting to try and help educate future generations.

(This is an idea to put into my paper, just didn’t fit into the WP 3 but I didn’t want to lose it so
I’m writing it on this)
It’s funny how the past generation can classify our generation into one group. I thought they
fought all those years ago for the freedom and proclaim that they are and were people. They
shouldn’t be outcasts and should be given a chance but yet they give up on their grandchildren
and children who THEY raised. Yes I know there are some uncontrolled things but the future
generations are your children or your children’s children. So why give up?

Related Interests