The book BLACK SOFTWARE: From the Internet and Racial Justice, to the AfroNet and Black Lives Matter, is the untold story about an independent group of Blacks and African Americans who built an internet before there was The Internet. They made an AFRONET.
The Afronet communications network centered on Black community issues, both personal and systemic. This writer became a part of the group (circa 1989) by connecting the SpiritDatatree(tm) BBS node, to put Boston modem users onto the Afronet. The Aafronet group lead to the founding management team of GO AFRO on Compuserve AOL, a high-budget project and an early version of an all-in-one worldwide accessible Black Twitter, Black Instagram, and Facebook. Live Chat was its most popular feature.
GO AFRO operated a public electronic auditorium for hosting celebrity events advertised in the USA Today and the London Financial Times newspaper. GO Afro pulled in Blacks from around the world to network and find love and friendships. Sixty-five thousand paid monthly dues to enter the GO AFRO online space.
The Afronet Sysops ( a sysop is a host content server node owner on the Afronet) were invited to run Go Afro, before it opened. There were approximately 30 sysops invited to a Washington DC summit hosted by the GO AFRO owner, to discuss it. The owner was American Vision, then the official magazine of the African American Museums Association.
dear local public libraries and STEM trainers working with youth. contact us for a free black software book.send requests with contact info to firstname.lastname@example.org
Some sysops hopped on board the project and abandoned their AfroNet nodes, while some defiantly didn’t because they valued their independence.
GO AFRO joined NetNoir and many other major media Black Online Destinations to form a Black-oriented footprint on the Information Superhighway for people to go to. The 1990s was the period when large institutional investors began taking financial stakes in this novel Black Online Universe. And that was when the troubles began. Culture vultures bought out the biggest Black operations. You have seen this before — it happened to the Black Newspaper industry, right? it will happen again.
For Diversity Chiefs in large organizations and STEM trainers who are teaching kids about the personal computer evolution and how to build careers or fortunes in it today, the Black Software book is a must read. It disclosed why the United States was not the place to see a Black person create the world’s first investable FACEBOOK.
it includes carefully researched evidence placing IBM, MIT University and others under the cloud of racial discrimination and it explains how, with the help of the NAACP, they began to dig themselves out of it to open up engineering worlds for Blacks interested in academic and corporate careers. The book showcases the career-shifting tactics of Black sysops and thought leaders, showing how people did what they had to do when they wanted to build something new but had full time jobs they found hard to leave.
Donate any amount to fund a Black Software (retail $27.99 hardcover) book giveaway to a local public library.
Nominate a local public library that serves the under-represented youth and is not carrying the book.
You can find the Black Software book in the Black Studies section of a retail bookstore. This historical non-fiction hardcover has a bright green color that jumps out when you browse the section. If you don’t see it on the shelf the store will have it in their computerized ordering system.
We ask local public libraries who serve Blacks, minorities and underrepresented people to circulate the book. Wherever there is a lack of diversity in human capital, be it a technology industry or a school system, or any other market segment, there is a fix for that but it can take a while.
Library administrators on a tight budget can request a free copy from us and we’ll help you get it. Here’s how. Write a letter to email@example.com and include your complete address, contact and ship to information and we will take it from there.
Young people can learn a lesson from men and women who were building Black Cyberspace in the 1990s. There were only 5.5 million African Americans online and nobody knew. History has answers for the difficult challenges of today. We found the data there in the magazine archive section. Can you imagine how many writers, businesses, organizations, and teachers got their foundational advantages from a public library? As we approach February Black History Month in America, libraries across America will put out book lists and recommendations of books about Black people. The Boston Public Library issues a new one every year so we can imagine this is happening at public libraries across the United States where Blacks live and visit libraries.
Black History month opens up a world of dialogue and content about American Blacks and African history to others. Listen carefully. It helps us question where do the ancient African antiquities displayed in museums come from and how did it happen? Well, that’s only one a million questions to ponder with a why, a what or who and how question. Surely you can think of more the public free library can help you with. Such questions are portals to understanding the world in which we live. The Astronaut is going to be the next big thing. Or artificial intelligence. Or, something else, right?
When Black History month shines a light on Black doctors, Black Engineers, Black artificial intelligence makers and software engineers it is a good thing. The untold and unknown stories about Blacks who have accomplished things or are working on it today are meaningful subjects to add to conversations. African Americans in America have only been “legally free” since the 1960s passage of civil rights and equal rights laws. These issues are still an ongoing concern. The word African American is new. It was adopted in the 1970s. Finally, Black Tech culture has entered Hip-hop and Rap music as a tool for mastering the new world. The beats and videos are amazing, powerful cultural influences. They capture attention, change lifestyles and influence commerce.
We are hoping that Black History Month 2020 will offer more information on Blacks in technology and what’s happening with Black Software. The stories are important. Technology underlines just about everything we experience in modern culture, from ride-hailing car services to food prep and athleticism.
For Librarians, we recommend you add the book “Black Software: From the Internet and Racial Justice, to the Afronet and Black Lives Matter” for people educating themselves about Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. If you want a copy for your local library, click here and let us know you are interested. We’ll work with you to get it there.