Illiteracy in the Racial Achievement Gap

African Americans were once denied equal educations. Even as late as 1947, about one third of African Americans over 65 were considered to lack the literacy to read and write their own names. However, by 1969, illiteracy as it had been traditionally defined, had been largely eradicated among African Americans--the number of among young adults was less than one percent, though African Americans still lag in more stringent definitions of document literacy. Inability to read, write or speak English in America today is largely an issue for immigrants, mostly from Asia and Latin America.