Monday, February 21, 2005

Christopher Rabb: Blogging While Black

Blogging While Black: Blogging is Not a Luxury, It's a Civic Responsibility.
Christopher Rabb


In light of the highly populist and independent panoply of voices in the blogosphere, the mainstream media have dubbed this web phenomenon "participatory journalism." But blogging is not exclusively or primarily about reporting the news; it is fundamentally about grassroots communication between individuals and groups without the filter of government agencies, political parties, corporations and other such entities.

Thus, blogging is inherently egalitarian and democratic because anyone – even those who are not tech-savvy – can set up their own weblog and wax philosophical within just minutes. And to do so is often of little expense, if not free (minus the value of your time, of course). Such blog platforms as,, and are three of innumerable online sites that the curious neophyte can use to make their voices heard amidst an American media universe monopolized by essentially seven corporate behemoths. Moreover, a blog's endemic power comes not from its ability to generate revenues, but is derived from the will and capacity of its readers to coalesce around the sharing, mobilization and analysis of issues the more entrenched institutions do not address. Namely, the issues that have an overwhelming impact on the black community.

For those millions of us Afro-netizens who go online to shop, research, and communicate with one another, the epicenter of black life has become the media. But until the media we rely upon includes blogs in particular, we are literally ceding our best of hope of communicating and organizing amongst ourselves – two bedrocks for any viable movement for a community's uplift.

Those of us fortunate enough to regularly use the internet and who now have an almost addiction to,, and, cannot afford to limit ourselves by so gravely under-utilizing the web and the opportunities at hand. We must blog while black. It is not a fad or a luxury; it is our civic responsibility to do so. And to abdicate this duty, is to succumb to the dangerous mythology that blackfolk must wait for our next messenger from above, all the while not realizing that the messenger is at our fingertips and the inviolable message from generations past endures in our hearts and minds. Where the success of all previous grassroots movements has been measured by feet on the ground, the power and effectiveness of blog activism for black folk and other dispossessed communities will be measured by hands on the keyboard.

Entire Essay

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