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Release date: Nov 4, 2019, the book “Black Software: The Internet and Racial Justice, from the AfroNet to Black Lives Matter”, by Charlton McIIWain, and Oxford Press. hardcover $27.49.
Activists, pundits, politicians, and the press frequently proclaim today’s digitally mediated racial justice activism the new civil rights movement.
As Charlton D. McIlwain shows in this book, the story of racial justice movement organizing online is much longer and varied than most people know. In fact, it spans nearly five decades and involves a varied group of engineers, entrepreneurs, hobbyists, journalists, and activists.
Chapter titles: Chapter One: The Great Equalizer; Chapter Two: Different Strokes; Chapter Three: The Roxbury Shake, Chapter Four: The Vanguard; Chapter Five: Black Software Comes to Cambridge; Chapter Six: The Electronic Village Needs an Organizer; Chapter Seven: Want Ad for a Revolution; Chapter Eight: The Battle for (Black) Cyberspace; and others. | Amazon Book Store link.
But this is a history that is virtually unknown even in our current age of Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Black Lives Matter.
Beginning with the simultaneous rise of civil rights and computer revolutions in the 1960s, McIlwain, for the first time, chronicles the long relationship between African Americans, computing technology, and the Internet. In turn, he argues that the forgotten figures who worked to make black politics central to the Internet’s birth and evolution paved the way for today’s explosion of racial justice activism. From the 1960s to present, the book examines how computing technology has been used to neutralize the threat that black people pose to the existing racial order, but also how black people seized these new computing tools to build community, wealth, and wage a war for racial justice. Through archival sources and the voices of many of those who lived and made this history, Black Software centralizes African Americans’ role in the Internet’s creation and evolution, illuminating both the limits and possibilities for using digital technology to push for racial justice in the United States and across the globe. # end
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One of our first products was this screen saver for African American art and artists.
Blacksoftware.com, an ASCAP registered writer/songwriter, wrote, performed and released the first album of smartphone alarm songs named after days of the week in 2008. It is available on the BandCamp network. Buy Tracks – click
Mobile enables hundreds of more Black Software makers. Gone are the shrink-wrapped software packages. Digital distribution is here to stay. Consumers in the mainstream demand updates. blackSoftware consumers are willing to support.
The gaming community has two sides. One is the side that produces projects at the $500M capitalization level. These games hit big box stores Walmart, Target and GameStop-like retailers.
At the grassroots level are the developers in the indie community — you will find the Game Devs of Color here — and there are millions of them. Coupling these communities with yet another distant community — the black entrepreneur is producing new BlackSoftware apps and products – but these new makers make not recognize they are making product for the new BLACKSOFTWARE GENRE.
There are Black movies, Black Literature, Black Art, Black music – this is Black software.
Yelp-like Black Business Directories, Web portals like Moguldom and Blavity, smartphone apps for finding Black barbers, Black beauty service providers, lending and getting Black money, and so on are continually coming out.
We see Black millennial app builders with little to no experience coding put black software product on the market. There have been no runaway successes yet, but there will be soon. Torrents of new opportunities are smashed with Afrofuturism energy. Anything can happen in this situation