Monday, November 2, 2015

Thinking about African Americans in Digital Space

Why Is Twitter More Popular With Black People Than White People?

New data confirms that Twitter's population is disproportionately black.    According to Edison Research's annual report on Twitter, black people represent 25% of Twitter users, roughly twice their share of the population in general.->

Here are two lectures about African Americans and Technology. The speakers featured are Jessica Marie Johnson, Howard  Rambsy, Mark Anthony Neal.  Please consider twitter and electronic archiving in the African American Community.  

A Day In The Life: Blacks At The Cutting Edge Of Innovation  "NPR's Tell Me More is again using social media to reach out to a new community of leaders — this time, to recognize black innovators in technology. African-Americans represent just 5 percent of America's scientists and engineers, according to a 2010 study by the National Science Foundation."

Please take a moment to learn more about the #NPRBlacksinTech movement and participate in the twitter discussion #NPRBlacksinTech.  Follow @blkintechnology @blackfemcoders @BlackGirlsCode  @BWIcomputing @MyBlackTechnology @digifeminist   

Stay in the 'know'.  More links:

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Black Feminisms, Womanism, and Hip-Hop Feminisms

photo of bell hooks:  from 
Greetings, Class Community.

In class we discussed many philosophies and expressions of Black Feminisms. I will list a few of the philosophies discussed in this post.

Black Feminism  -“a process of self-conscious struggle that empowers women and men to actualize a humanist vision of community.” – Patricia HillCollins

Black feminism - argues that Black feminism argues that sexism, class oppression, and racism are inextricably bound together. The way these relate to each other is called intersectionality. Forms of feminism that strive to overcome sexism and class oppression but ignore race can discriminate against many people, including women, through racial bias. The Combahee River Collective argued in 1974 that the liberation of black women entails freedom for all people, since it would require the end of racism, sexism, and class oppression.
photo of Alice Walker:  from

Womanism - at its core, womanism is a social change perspective based upon the everyday problems and experiences of black women and other women of color, but more broadly seeks methods to eradicate inequalities not just for black women, but for all people.[1] The self- authored spirit of activism, spirituality, and the women's relationship with herself, other women, and her surroundings comprise an essential part of the ideology. -

Alice Walker’s Definition of a “Womanist” from In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens: Womanist Prose Copyright 1983. WOMANIST   
1. From womanish.  (Opp. of “girlish,” i.e. frivolous, irresponsible, not serious.)  A black feminist or feminist of color.  From the black folk expression of mothers to female children, “you acting womanish,” i.e., like a woman.  Usually referring to outrageous, audacious, courageous or willful behavior.  Wanting to know more and in greater depth than is considered “good” for one.  Interested in grown up doings.  Acting grown up.  Being grown up.  Interchangeable with another black folk expression: “You trying to be grown.”  Responsible.  In charge. Serious.
2. Also: A woman who loves other women, sexually and/or nonsexually.  Appreciates and prefers women’s culture, women’s emotional flexibility (values tears as natural counterbalance of laughter), and women’s strength.  Sometimes loves individual men, sexually and/or nonsexually.  Committed to survival and wholeness of entire people, male and female.  Not a separatist, except periodically, for health.  Traditionally a universalist, as in: “Mama, why are we brown, pink, and yellow, and our cousins are white, beige and black?” Ans. “Well, you know the colored race is just like a flower garden, with every color flower represented.”  Traditionally capable, as in: “Mama, I’m walking to Canada and I’m taking you and a bunch of other slaves with me.” Reply: “It wouldn’t be the first time.”
3. Loves music.  Loves dance.  Loves the moon. Loves the Spirit. Loves love and food and roundness.  Loves struggle. Loves the Folk.  Loves herself. Regardless.

photo of Chamara Kwakye: from
"Hip-hopfeminism is loosely defined as young feminists born after 1964 who approach the political with a mixture of feminist and hip-hop sensibilities. It shares many similarities with black feminism and third wave feminism, but is a distinct self-identification that carries its own weight and creates its own political spaces.

Hip-hop feminism was created by feminists who felt that black feminism was not equipped to consider the issues of women belonging to the hip-hop generation. The term Hip Hop Feminism was coined by the provocative cultural critic JoanMorgan in 1999 when she published the book "When Chickenheads Come Home toRoost: A Hip Hop Feminist Breaks it Down."" from

How does this information about black feminisms affirm, change or complicate  what you know about American culture, African American culture, or feminisms?

Afrocentrism and Dr. Molefi Kete Asante

Greetings, Class Community.

In class we discussed Dr. Molefi Kete Asante's theories concerning Afrocentrism.   How do theories associated with Afrocentrism affirm, complicate or change your understanding of a.) African American Studies  b.) formal education and c.) World History?

Some of the points associated with Afrocentrism we discussed:
  • European civilization originated in Africa, particularly Ancient Egypt
  • Evidence of advanced cultures in other parts of Africa that refute cultural inferiority
  • America is not a melting pot. Assimilation meant rejecting African cultures for African Americans.
  • “Afrocentricity is the idea that African people and interests must be viewed as actors and agents in human history, rather than as marginal to the European historical experience – which has been institutionalized as universal." - Dr. Molefi Kete Asante   

Cyber Lynching and Race in Digital Environments

Greetings, Class Community.

In a previous lecture about cyber racism and electronic lynching, University of Kentucky's archivist Stacie Williams gave many insights.

She opened with illustrating the differences in these magazine covers that use the exact same photo of O.J. Simpson.  She discussed how one cover capitalizes on the stereotypes that portray African Americans as savage and intimidating.  She also discussed how these stereotypes and the propaganda about 'racial purity' are historically linked to lynching.  

Williams also defined: lynching, cyber lynching and information architecture. Williams discussed how theories associated with information architecture may explain why some web search results display negative stereotypes about African Americans. 

The lecture concluded by discussing boolean searching and how to avoid being bombarded by websites and links that may not address your information needs and academic research.  

Please take a moment to reintroduce our class community to the terms and definitions that Stacie Williams used in her lecture when answering the following question. How did this  lecture affirm, change or challenge your understanding of lynching, African American Studies and the connection between information architecture and web surfing?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Black Arts Movement

On February 21, 1965,  Malcolm X was assassinated. Malcolm X's assassination becomes the trigger that ignites the Black Arts Movement.     Please take a moment to get to know the life and work of the following figures. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Central Park Five

Greetings, Class Community. 

Although we will not have time to discuss the Central Park jogger case before the semester ends, you may view the documentary here using your UKy Films on Demand account with UK Libraries.  

"The Central Park jogger case involved the assault and rape of Trisha Meili, a female jogger in New York City's Central Park, on April 19, 1989. Five juvenile males—four black and one of Hispanic descent—were tried and convicted for the crime and served their sentences fully. The convictions were vacated in 2002 when Matias Reyes, a convicted rapist and murderer serving a life sentence for other crimes, confessed to committing the crime alone and DNA evidence confirmed his involvement in the rape." 

"A settlement in the case for $41 million was approved by a federal judge on September 5, 2014. Santana, Salaam, McCray, and Richardson will each receive $7.1 million for their years in prison, while Wise will receive $12.2 million. The city did not admit to any wrongdoing in the settlement.[29]- Wikipedia: Central Park jogger case 


The Central Park Five won a settlement from NYC and is now suing the New York State.

Planet Rock: The Story of Hip Hop and the Crack Generation

Greetings, Class Community.

We have been viewing Planet Rock: The Story of Hip Hop and the Crack Generation.

How did viewing this documentary affirm, change, or complicate what you know or understand about African American Culture in the 1980s-1990s?

How did viewing this documentary affirm, change, or complicate what you know or understand about the intersections of Hip Hop Culture and African Americans?

How did viewing this documentary affirm, change, or complicate what you know or understand about the intersections of the prison industrial complex, public fear, and African Americans? Is there a connection to earlier notions of public fear?

If your opinions are supported by evidence from our text book or outside resources, please notify us.  Cite the source or post the link.