Black Software is an American invention
Black software from African American software coders became a software choice for users of the blacksoftware.com website after an African found a path to market what he made and had named blackware.
The African physically brought his software products to a Black-owned computer retail and service shop in Cambridge, Ma. in 1989, who had called him after reading about his blackware in a magazine. The store bought some for stock, advertised it in a publication named the Black Pages of New England and quickly sold out of this blackware. The store owner launched Blacksoftware.com the website that year with a plan to find, catalog and share all the software made for consumers by a person from the African diaspora.
Using the Afronet BBS network as a bull horn and the online reach of AOL, CompuServe, GEnie, and Prodigy networks to issue open calls for software made by black software coders around the world, a short list of titles was discovered and advertised by blacksoftware.com.
This collection of software was given the name black software by blacksoftware.com and branded “blackSoftware,” using the letters little “b” with the big “S” when writing it.
New genre joins list of prominent Black genres
When people ask what is blackSoftware, we say “it is like black film, black literature, black art and people understand it better. Those genres had humble beginnings. Did Oscar Micheaux know his movie production projects would produce the black film genre filmmakers today are proud to join? Was Henry O. Tanner aware his paintings would evict black fine artists from the European art category? What was Phyllis Wheatley thinking when she began putting words on paper? Did she intentionally design the black literature genre?
The power of the Internet and social media makes it possible to create something new that never existed before and secure it to the world faster than any other moment in time. The two words “Internet” and “Social Media” are not much older than 38 years old. blackSoftware – the genre made by African American and African diaspora software coders becomes 30 years old in 2019.
The blackSoftware genre promises to sustain a marketplace of creators, distributors, resellers, and financiers. Many are just getting their feet wet as we write these words. The size of the market for the blackSoftware genre is unknown to be honest.
The landscape is so new but you can draw parallel lines to black film, black literature, and black studies to get a feel for what significant black genres are producing in terms of opportunities, dollars, and contributions to society.
Software eats the world, said Marc Andreessen, the American entrepreneur, investor, and software engineer who is the co-author of Mosaic, the first widely used Web browser; co-