Blerds

Charlton D. McIlwain on Black digital activists

With permission from Oxford University Press, Yes Magazine published an excerpt from Academic and author Charlton D. McIlwain’s book, Black Software: The Internet & Racial Justice, from the AfroNet to Black Lives Matter.

While I don’t have permission to do the same, I’m going to copy this excerpt from the copied excerpt. Call it Blaception:

[…] I no longer contented myself to find the roots of today’s digitally enabled, racial justice activism. The fact that I had myself encountered a whole group of people whom our internet, computing, and media histories had never known—much less remembered—led me to ask a more fundamental question. What is, and has been, Black people’s relationship to the internet and computing technology?

That’s when I discovered a more sobering story. The story should not have been surprising, given America’s racist history. Nonetheless, it was a chilling story to resurrect. That story was laid bare in civil rights, computer industry, higher education institution, and state and federal government archives, and periodicals from a bygone era. The story I found there I call “Black software.”

Trump may be out of the White House and there may be a Black woman as Vice President now but there is still a lot of work to do and Black Lives Still Matter, online and offline.

See also: A Black internet timeline, 17 Black STEM books for kids, and the first Black female engineer.

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