Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla really are my heroes. As a child, there
wasn't a great deal of emphasis on education or reading in my family.
Many of my family members were illiterate, and it wasn't expected
that I would go beyond junior high school. It's not because my parents
were bad people, but it was a necessity for survival that I start
working as soon as possible. And reading beyond a job application
wasn't a necessity.
basis in reading that many children get from parents reading bedtime
stories, I got from series like Schoolhouse Rock and Sesame
Street. I remember spending hours lying at the edge of my grandmother's
bed, hanging upside down and absorbing letters, numbers and words
from television. Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla and Big Bird were literally
my first educators, and from them I got the beginnings of a life-long
love of words.
I not love a black superhero Verb showing me "what's happenin'"
or catch on to pronouns from a fellow Rufus and his pet kangaroo?
I know that
today, I am a writer with a college degree because of series like
Schoolhouse Rock that bring education to children who, like
me, might not get it from home.
a longstanding myth, TV didn't rot my brain it improved it.