web site hit counter Black Software: The Internet & Racial Justice, from the Afronet to Black Lives Matter - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Black Software: The Internet & Racial Justice, from the Afronet to Black Lives Matter

Availability: Ready to download

Activists, pundits, politicians, and the press frequently proclaim today's digitally mediated racial justice activism the new civil rights movement. As Charlton 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, e Activists, pundits, politicians, and the press frequently proclaim today's digitally mediated racial justice activism the new civil rights movement. As Charlton 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. 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.


Compare

Activists, pundits, politicians, and the press frequently proclaim today's digitally mediated racial justice activism the new civil rights movement. As Charlton 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, e Activists, pundits, politicians, and the press frequently proclaim today's digitally mediated racial justice activism the new civil rights movement. As Charlton 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. 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.

30 review for Black Software: The Internet & Racial Justice, from the Afronet to Black Lives Matter

  1. 4 out of 5

    Emma S

    A must read for anyone in the software or tech industry. McIlwan busts the myth that the web has always been a white male nerd colony and takes us through the remarkable story of engineers, programmers, business people and hobbyists who fought to build a place for Black folks on the internet and foster a community. Reading black software I discovered so many (still) revered institutions (MIT and IBM in particular) have legacies of vehement anti-black racism- something never discussed by teaching A must read for anyone in the software or tech industry. McIlwan busts the myth that the web has always been a white male nerd colony and takes us through the remarkable story of engineers, programmers, business people and hobbyists who fought to build a place for Black folks on the internet and foster a community. Reading black software I discovered so many (still) revered institutions (MIT and IBM in particular) have legacies of vehement anti-black racism- something never discussed by teaching institutions or my peers This should be an awakening for anyone in the industry and at the *top* of your reading list.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Dai

    i think everyone working in tech, esp born after like.. 1997, should read this -- puts lots of history I didn't know at all (early tech industry, early internet) in context w black tech history. the oral history-style exposition of the first half was also refreshing and simply fascinating. some argumentation was not super new to me (e.g. tech viewed as a new means to manage, control, "solve the problem" of black people) but I really appreciated the way in which it was put in conversation with th i think everyone working in tech, esp born after like.. 1997, should read this -- puts lots of history I didn't know at all (early tech industry, early internet) in context w black tech history. the oral history-style exposition of the first half was also refreshing and simply fascinating. some argumentation was not super new to me (e.g. tech viewed as a new means to manage, control, "solve the problem" of black people) but I really appreciated the way in which it was put in conversation with the development of tech for military purposes (abroad), then repurposed against the domestic "enemy." fuller review (in real sentences) on the reboot newsletter here :~)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    This is a very interesting look at the role African Americans have played in the development of the Internet.

  4. 4 out of 5

    colin

    A lot of standout moments in this book, which chronicles the often overlooked history of black contributions to the development of the internet and the field of computer science. It also provides some great background into the history of racial injustice and the development of technology in the 20th century onward, and how those two often connect. It does, however, feel stretched a bit too thin. The first book in particular has the issue of trying to explore all these innovators, software enginee A lot of standout moments in this book, which chronicles the often overlooked history of black contributions to the development of the internet and the field of computer science. It also provides some great background into the history of racial injustice and the development of technology in the 20th century onward, and how those two often connect. It does, however, feel stretched a bit too thin. The first book in particular has the issue of trying to explore all these innovators, software engineers, and businessmen that built these spaces for POC online, and doing so doesn't really give the reader the space to retain the information provided. Part of that cannot really be helped, as a lot of the stories don't really intersect until the very end, but it becomes difficult to remember each person and the motivations, especially because of how little the individual backgrounds impact the broader story. I was also a little bit disappointed by how little the stories of the 80's and 90's really overlap with more contemporary movements like Black Lives Matter, considering the book is sort of framed around the question "What built the foundation for a movement like BLM?" Despite these issues, it is an important read, especially if you, like me, are in computer science spaces where the historical context of computer science are almost entirely centered around white men, and falsely framed as apolitical.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    Ik had het heel graag een interessant boek gevonden, helaas was het dat niet. Het idee van het boek sprak me heel erg aan, maar jammer genoeg weet het boek de belofte niet in te lossen. De verhalen die verteld worden zijn niet erg interessant, de schrijfstijl leest niet prettig en de verschillende verhalen zijn moeilijk uit elkaar te halen. Helaas. Er zitten een paar leuke wetenswaardigheden in (AOL kostte 3.99 per uur!?) en het thema is erg belangrijk. De vraag waar ik mee bleef zitten is: ware Ik had het heel graag een interessant boek gevonden, helaas was het dat niet. Het idee van het boek sprak me heel erg aan, maar jammer genoeg weet het boek de belofte niet in te lossen. De verhalen die verteld worden zijn niet erg interessant, de schrijfstijl leest niet prettig en de verschillende verhalen zijn moeilijk uit elkaar te halen. Helaas. Er zitten een paar leuke wetenswaardigheden in (AOL kostte 3.99 per uur!?) en het thema is erg belangrijk. De vraag waar ik mee bleef zitten is: waren er geen interessantere verhalen te vinden?

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sophie

    This is a fascinating book, and covers a lot of history of technology that I'd never heard of - which makes me wonder why I'd never even come across references to these sites and communities before. The second half, unfortunately, falls a bit short, especially when it starts to examine the relationship between technology and policing. Of course, that's a huge topic in itself, but it feels like a lot of factors have been left out of the description without spending much time on the complexity. It This is a fascinating book, and covers a lot of history of technology that I'd never heard of - which makes me wonder why I'd never even come across references to these sites and communities before. The second half, unfortunately, falls a bit short, especially when it starts to examine the relationship between technology and policing. Of course, that's a huge topic in itself, but it feels like a lot of factors have been left out of the description without spending much time on the complexity. It could be that I'm just missing background here. Anyway, overall a really interesting read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Mitchell

    This was an interesting book with some very important context about how race (here a focus on African Americans) has shaped the Internet and computers more generally. The discussion is balanced and documents how some people in the black community worked hard from the beginning to make sure black culture and history was well represented. That is a piece of the story. It frankly discusses how the Internet was dominated not just by white men, but how it enabled particularly angry, racist white men t This was an interesting book with some very important context about how race (here a focus on African Americans) has shaped the Internet and computers more generally. The discussion is balanced and documents how some people in the black community worked hard from the beginning to make sure black culture and history was well represented. That is a piece of the story. It frankly discusses how the Internet was dominated not just by white men, but how it enabled particularly angry, racist white men to beat down others that wanted to be a part of cyberspace. Some of the white men who weren't writing atrocious things in all caps were nonetheless shaping the technology to ignore the lived experiences of people of color. These are important stories that need to be told. The book does a great job of showing how decisions embracing certain police technologies shaped and silenced black community for decades - but social media has offered some new tools that allow those communities to tell their own stories. Despite the many things I liked about this book, I did find it a little hard to read at times - I wasn't sure where it was going with many different characters that were doing interesting things and I had trouble tracking who was who at times (a common problem I have with any story with many characters). So many books about this important transitional time have been written by white men without any discussion about important racial and gender dynamics. Books like this are important to tell the stories that many other authors miss.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ben Davis

    The content of this book was really great, my main problems with it were how it was organized. At the least, it provides a great starting point to learn more about some of the topics it covers. Black Software chronicles the relationship between black people and technology, mainly focusing on the ~1960s to early 2000s. The first part details several persons of color ("The Vanguard") that leveraged burgeoning tech to empower their communities. To me, this part was really hard to follow because ther The content of this book was really great, my main problems with it were how it was organized. At the least, it provides a great starting point to learn more about some of the topics it covers. Black Software chronicles the relationship between black people and technology, mainly focusing on the ~1960s to early 2000s. The first part details several persons of color ("The Vanguard") that leveraged burgeoning tech to empower their communities. To me, this part was really hard to follow because there were dozens of names that kept coming back into focus, and it was very easy to forget who a particular person was. Not to mention, there were lots of block quotes that weren't specifically attributed to someone. Usually, the speaker could be determined by context, but sometimes it was ambiguous. Overall, I would have gotten a lot more out of the first part of the book if it was a video documentary (that's a comment I generally have about non-fiction books that introduce dozens of figures). I think the second part of the book was much easier to follow, and it was also very enlightening. In this part, we learn IBM's contract with the US government to build tech addressing the "problem" of criminal justice. In Kansas City, the rollout of IBM's ALERT II in the 70s ended up gathering and analyzing data that only led to racial profiling and violence against people of color. We learn how this response emerged from fear-mongering that surrounded the Watts riots and has continually enabled widespread police brutality into the modern day. Overall, the book outlines a theme of technology being used by those in power to "solve" the problem of black people. But it also sheds light on many of the ways tech was used by blacks for social justice in the early days of the Internet. Our collective hope should be to leverage the lessons in this book to more thoughtfully approach the technology we build so that we can put an end to the blatant racism that is currently entrenched in our software systems.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Abby

    I thought this book was worth reading. It had lots of important historical details in it the made me realize we are repeating the same cycles over and over again and the role that software plays in those cycles. Instead of being an equalizer, software has mostly only contributed to the disparities we see. I struggled a bit with feeling like a cohesive narrative was missing and instead it was a list of historical events and people. If I was a computer scientist I feel I would have understood the I thought this book was worth reading. It had lots of important historical details in it the made me realize we are repeating the same cycles over and over again and the role that software plays in those cycles. Instead of being an equalizer, software has mostly only contributed to the disparities we see. I struggled a bit with feeling like a cohesive narrative was missing and instead it was a list of historical events and people. If I was a computer scientist I feel I would have understood the context better and gotten more out of the book. Overall I learned quite a bit that I hadn't known before.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer M.

    Disappointed in this book which seems like it should be incredibly relevant right now. The chapters feel disconnected from each other, with no clear through line. The two major parts of the book have no connection at all, and the second feels incomplete. The narrative jumps back and forth in time for no apparent reason. Black Lives Matter gets only a few pages in the epilogue, in spite of being mentioned on the cover. And the author's insistence on putting quotations in italics instead of using Disappointed in this book which seems like it should be incredibly relevant right now. The chapters feel disconnected from each other, with no clear through line. The two major parts of the book have no connection at all, and the second feels incomplete. The narrative jumps back and forth in time for no apparent reason. Black Lives Matter gets only a few pages in the epilogue, in spite of being mentioned on the cover. And the author's insistence on putting quotations in italics instead of using quotation marks makes for a confusing and difficult read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bright

    Really excellent read of the role the Vanguards played in uplifting the Black community and how the Commiteemen are part of the larger influence of the prison and military industrial complexes in the oppression of the Black community. I thought that there would be more time spent tracing #BlackLivesMatter's roots in the 20th century, but overall enjoyed this book. A necessary read for those craving a critical perspective at the role that technology has played in social justice movements. Really excellent read of the role the Vanguards played in uplifting the Black community and how the Commiteemen are part of the larger influence of the prison and military industrial complexes in the oppression of the Black community. I thought that there would be more time spent tracing #BlackLivesMatter's roots in the 20th century, but overall enjoyed this book. A necessary read for those craving a critical perspective at the role that technology has played in social justice movements.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amina

    Was a very interesting book it really shows how in the begging the amount of new technology was on the move and how black people who just was in some very interesting places and really got the start in industry of technology and really had no idea it would amount to this mass global move. the writing was wired but I did get through the book. A lot of information that I found useful.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mills College Library

    302.23089 M1522 2020

  14. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    A great book! Very informative and definitely worth a read if you're interested in the history of the internet and software with the intersection of race. A great book! Very informative and definitely worth a read if you're interested in the history of the internet and software with the intersection of race.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    This was a really interesting look at some parts of early internet history that I had been unaware of.

  16. 5 out of 5

    J

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ivo

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nick

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mark

  21. 5 out of 5

    Devyn Krevat

  22. 4 out of 5

    Taylor

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlyn

  24. 4 out of 5

    Philip

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jovita Jacobs

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tuttle

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jada Webster

  28. 5 out of 5

    Shauna

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brittneyfinley

  30. 4 out of 5

    Derek Hurley

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.