I agree with Lessesne when he says that graphic novels can help convince reluctant readers into picking up a book.
However, I had a real problem with Tatum’s quote, “We cannot wait for African American males to heal themselves.” We must contribute to the healing and build texual lineages that move them toward promise and possibility.” (Adolescent literacy, Chapt. 6)
First off, he made no distinction here. All African American males do not need help with reading. It is true that many do but it should have been made clear which group of males were being addressed. I agree that African American males should be reading texts that they can relate to, by authors who look like them. This may help them read more but one has to understand the depth of the situation we are talking about here. In some cases we are talking about laziness, but not in all.
Some of these kids are working full time while in high school. Some of them are not just supporting themselves but they are also supporting their families. Getting them the right book to read is not going to necessarily change their situation. It may change something in the long term but these kids need economic relief now. So they are going to engage in situations that will fufill their needs now and they will become less engaged with the long run.