Monday, January 21, 2008

Books Left to Rot

Go visit Sweet Juniper. Take a look at the beautiful photos she took of the corpse that is the Detroit Public Schools Book Depository. On the one hand it's a horrible waste in a city that, with an adult literacy rate below 50%, can't afford it. On the other hand, with mushrooms and trees growing up through forgotten curriculum meant for a system of forced schooling, it could be a visual metaphor for freedom in learning. One thought makes your stomach turn. The other lifts your heart.

Don't fall for the latter image though. This is a city where a third of the population lives below the poverty line. The rotting books aren't broken chains, they're willful neglect.


Anonymous said...

Those pics with all the rotting books were chilling and creepy.

You wrote: "... adult literacy rate below 50%...." What does that mean?

And try not to laugh at me and tell me that I must be in that lower 50% because I can't figure out what it means. :-)

Tammy at HS Comments on the Fly

Lynn said...

Yeah, willful neglect is what I was thinking, too.

And, a cynical betrayal of hard-working taxpayers - and, of course, children. Maybe I'm turning into a glass half empty gal because I can't see any redeeming metaphors :(

Dawn said...

It means 47% of the adults, just under half, in Detroit don't meet the standards for whatever adlt literacy is. I don't know how they determine what adult literacy is though. :(