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.

3 comments:

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. :-)

Thanks,
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. :(