Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Freedom Technology Christmas

AfroSpear bloggers are encouraging Blacks to give "the gift of technology" to their children, parents and others, to empower them to communicate in the Internet Age, with recommended gifts of computers, digicams, broadband and open source software.

This Christmas, the same AfroSpear Black bloggers who organized the March on Jena are spearheading the "AfroSpear Freedom Technology Christmas" (FTC) campaign. AfroSpear bloggers in forty US states and five countries are mobilizing their readers to give Christmas presents that increase citizen journalism within the Black community.

"When you have a blog, what happens to you in a small town can become international news," said Field Negro, who won a Black Weblog Award this year. He cited the case of Shaquanda Cotton, a 14 year-old who was unfairly sentenced to 7 years in prison for pushing a high school hall monitor, but who was released when her Freedom Blog caught national attention.

The AfroSpear's Eddie Griffin believes word will spread. "We're going to teach our children to communicate with the world and give them the tools to do it," said Griffin, an ex-Black Panther who helps lead the group's outreach to Blacks in the criminal justice system.

Shawn Williams, of the AfroSpear's Dallas South blog, featured on MSNBC and in the Chicago Tribune for his Jena Six advocacy, says the success of the March on Jena has convinced Black bloggers that "Freedom Technology" is essential to their movement. He said, "This Christmas, our children and families need modern communication tools, like 24-hour broadband connections and digital cameras. These tools can be used to document injustices like the Jena nooses, while at the same time help to narrow the technology divide that continues to widen."

"The gift of communication technology like computers and webcams is the best gift that you can give your children and family, because it empowers them to educate and advocate for the Black community and for themselves," said the African American Political Pundit (AAPP).

AAPP added, "Black blogging encourages writing skills and critical thinking, which are precisely the skills our children need."

The statistics bear out AAPP. “Black children are going to jail at a rate 6 times higher than that of white children in America”, said Eddie Griffin.

"We are expanding the national Black media that focuses on the needs of Black people in the context of America and the world. And AfroSpear bloggers will announce the ways in which Freedom Technology Christmas presents have dramatically improved communication among AfroSpear bloggers in five countries and four continents," said Atty. Holland.

Freedom Technology Christmas recommended gifts are laptop or home computers, headphones with microphones and webcams (for computer- to-computer conversations), digital cameras and camera "memory sticks," "pen drives" for saving documents, photographs and music, foreign language software, music production software and writing skills software.

Many excellent Christmas computer software presents are available for free. Open Source alternatives are abundant. For example,

Many communication programs are available for free download and include:

  • Skype (free computer telephone)
  • ooVoo (free televideo communication)
  • Yahoo
  • MSN (e-mail and instant messages)

“I wholeheartedly support the Freedom Technology Christmas as a way not only to give a gift with meaning, but also to encourage Black youth to hone their computer, writing, analysis, critical thinking, photography and other skills. New talents will be unearthed and encouraged to grow”, says Adrianne George from the Black Women in Europe blog.

Well BETF-Blog readers ... What say u about the Freedom Technology Christmas idea?


Francis Holland said...

Thank you so much for running this! By changing our culture a little bit, we can change our destiny a little bit!

Unknown said...

Francis, I'm proud of the work being done by The AfroSpear. Your ability to take this Freedom Technology Christmas idea to the next level is remarkable. I am simply glad to be a part of the process.

C Samuels Jr said...

Another way to expand on this is to provide TRAINING on how to use the technology. I believe many parents have access to the latest tech tools but have no idea how to use it. Offer an hour or two of training to a loved one or student so they can get the most out of their tech tools.

Unknown said...

Cliff - Amen! Hopefully, our 48 BDPA chapters are providing this type of training as part of their program meetings...

Codezilla said...

Here's an idea - go to this website and have a few hundred special full-color holiday-themed business cards printed; call them a 'free 1hr class' ticket for after-holiday training in an area of digital media related to the Freedom Technology program (i.e. "How to podcast using the free program Audacity"). On the front of the card is some Afrocentric-media-related image and the local BDPA chapter's contact info and a list of the classes offered and some of the devices listed in the article.

Unknown said...

Codezilla - That is a very unique marketing idea. Thank you for sharing it with me. In turn, I've passed it along via email to the 48 presidents of our BDPA chapters around the country!

BTW, are you a member of BDPA yet (smile)?

Unknown said...

All - I wonder if this event will be promoted again this year?