When you only have black and white bitmaps, it's very difficult to create readable white text on a black and white pattern. You need to make the edges of the white text clearly distinct. The simplest method might be to get a hollow outline font to use and place the text using the hollow font on top of your shade. A hollow font would probably clear the black and white background around the text. That effect may or may not be a good compromise for you. There may be a good graphic editor (anyone have a suggestion?) that would allow you to do something similar without clearing the background beneath the text.