Friday, November 30, 2007

Zack Lemelle * ITSMF Chairperson (2008-2009)

BDPA Education & Technology Foundation (BETF) is very hopeful that we can develop a stronger relationship with the individual members of the Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF) in the coming year. Quite frankly, we want to work with each of these powerful sisters and brothers to figure out how we can leverage their position on top of the glass ceiling in Corporate America in support of our funding goals.

I would love to find tangible ways to grow our Jesse Bemley Scholarship Fund as well as increased human and financial resources to fully fund our chapter Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) programs in each of the 49 chapters around the country.

My belief is that BETF provides a non-profit charitable outlet that should be utilized to a greater extent by ITSMF on corporate and individual levels. I'm hopeful that these powerful executives will lead by example.

I was a member of ITSMF in 2004-2005 when I served as national BDPA president. I know the power of these brothers and sisters. We just have to figure out how to broaden our relationship in the coming weeks and months.

Truthfully, my spirits rose with the results of the recent ITSMF elections. Zack Lemille is the new ITSMF Chairperson ... the head nubian-in-charge for 2008-2009.

Check out this brother's creds:

Zackarie Lemelle, Vice President, Information Technology Corporate Systems, is responsible for J&J Legal, Global Communications, Worldwide Operations, Corporate Office of Science and Technology, J&J Development Corporation, Global Marketing and next generation procurement technology.

Prior to this, Zack was Worldwide Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Information Technology & Business Process Management for Ethicon, Incorporated, a J&J company. In this position, Zack was responsible for leading all information technology and process reengineering efforts directed at strengthening and growing this global business. Zack has thirty years of experience in the field of Information Technology and Process Management. Prior to accepting his current assignment, he served as Vice President/CIO for Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical. He also served as Director, Business Reengineering at Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical.

Zack is a founding member and former Co-Chair of the J&J African American Leadership Council. His community activities include Co-Chair, Helping Our Neighbor’s With Our Resources, a Deacon at his church and a little league baseball umpire and football referee.

Do we have any ITSMF members or supporters that are also BETF-Blog Readers? If so, would you care to share your thoughts or vision for the future relationship between ITSMF and BETF?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

BDPA Partners with Drexel University for Online Degree and Certification Programs

BDPA, the nation’s premier organization for African American information technology professionals, is committed to delivering best-in-class benefits to its members and supports lifelong learning for continuous professional development.

Drexel University Online specializes in innovative, Internet-based online degree programs and certificates for working professionals and corporations in the U.S. and abroad. Drexel University is continually ranked one of the best national doctoral universities by U.S. News & World Report and is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges & Secondary Schools.

Through a recent educational partnership with Drexel, members of BDPA will receive 10-25% OFF the on-campus tuition rate when enrolling in one of Drexel’s online degree programs. And as an added benefit, immediate family members will also receive similar tuition reductions.

If a BDPA member would like to earn a bachelor’s, master’s, certificate or an online IT degree, but do not want to put their career on hold to pursue it, then a Drexel University Online degree program is perfect. Drexel University Online offers the same quality education students receive on campus, but in a convenient, online format ideal for the working professional.

Drexel is now accepting applications for the spring term beginning in March 2008.

In addition, BETF-Blog Readers are encouraged to participate in webinar on Wednesday, December 5th at 7 pm to find out more about this partnership and Drexel’s online programs.

For more questions you can contact Jamila Winder at (215) 895-0521. Well, BETF-Blog Readers, what say u?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Leading BDPA Greater Tampa Bay Into Tomorrow

BDPA Greater Tampa Bay chapter was founded in May 1993. The chapter is currently the 23rd largest chapter in the nation. However, they have visions of getting into the top 10 in the coming weeks and months. Part of the process is the incoming ideas and energy of the next group of leaders to carry their chapter into tomorrow.

Leslie Mozon, chapter president, plans to deal with the logistics and excitement of nominations for upcoming election at the program meeting later this week. In fact, the theme for the meeting will be 'Focus: Leading BDPA-GTBC Into Tomorrow'

The logistics for the meeting are as follows:

Date: Thursday, November 29, 2007
Time: 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Location: PricewaterhouseCoopers Office Complex
6th Floor, LakePoint One
3109 W. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33607

BETF-Blog Readers are invited to share this information with any IT professional that you know in the Greater Tampa Bay area. Heck, if you can get this message to Buccaneers coach John Gruden ... that would be good as well!

Please RSVP to Leslie Mozon by email ( or phone (813.215-5902).

IBM Researchers Look to Africa

We have shared the 411 with BETF-Blog Readers about Mark Dean in the past. Also, IBM is a consistent BDPA sponsor and BETF donor. So we thought that this recent article would be of interest to you:

"We believe that Africa is that next emerging opportunity," said Mark Dean, head of IBM'S Almaden Research Center in Silicon Valley. "We need to be familiar with different cultures and languages and operations in the African countries. What we want is the African people and African businesses to look at IBM as a trusted provider."

When technology companies talk up the potential of the developing world, they usually mean places that already are hotbeds like China or India. IBM Corp. is placing bets on African countries where it has launched a mentoring program for college students.

The project, called Makocha Minds, using the Swahili word for "teachers," puts 250 of IBM's top researchers in regular contact with engineering, math and computing students at universities in 10 sub-Saharan countries: Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, South Africa, Kenya, Senegal, Botswana, Tanzania, Ghana and Nigeria.

The participants chat mainly by e-mail or phone, but in-person meetings could happen eventually.

The students usually want general guidance on becoming successful or pursuing advanced degrees, rather than help with their homework, said Mark Dean, head of IBM'S Almaden Research Center in Silicon Valley and leader of the project.

Dean said the project lays groundwork for IBM to do business in Africa, where potentially groundbreaking research is being pursued on diverse topics like plant genomics and nuclear power.

"We believe that Africa is that next emerging opportunity," he said. "We need to be familiar with different cultures and languages and operations in the African countries. What we want is the African people and African businesses to look at IBM as a trusted provider."

Other technology companies have tried strengthening their interactions in Africa, including Google Inc., whose foundation has backed business-plan competitions in Ghana and Tanzania. However, experts in international technology development said IBM's mentoring program appears unique.
Well, BETF-Blog Readers, what say u?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Driving Leadership in the 21st Century (ITSMF)

Most of us that work in the IT industry are not used to seeing more than a handful of Black executives together at one time. Bill Gates tells us that there is a dearth of African Americans at the IT worker level ... so you know that the glass ceiling must have an impact on brothers and sisters aspiring to the executive level. As such, it is important that we support groups such as the Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF) when they are bodacious enough to bring together scores of Black IT executives in one place at one time.

It will happen on Friday, February 8, 2008 at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington DC.

BETF-Blog Readers, we are very happy to invite you to attend 'Driving Leadership in the 21st Century' Gala Awards Ceremony celebrating industry leaders who have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of information technology while simultaneously demonstrating proactive leadership in advancing diversity.

It is truly wonderful to see African American groups willing to salute not only the business and technical achievements of distinguished leaders but also their impact in creating IT opportunities for the success of future African American leaders. Some of the powerful brothers and sisters being honored at this ceremony include:
  • Linda Cureton - Chief Information Officer, NASA
  • Linda Gooden - Executive Vice President, Lockheed Martin IS and Global Services
  • Dr. Danny Harris - Deputy Chief Financial Officer, US Department of Education
  • Rodney Hunt - President & CEO, RS Information Services
  • James Washington - Vie President, Federal Aviation Administration

Click here to register online. For more information you can reach out to ITSMF by phone (630.406 - 1918) or email (

Any ITSMF or BDPA members out there? Perhaps you can post some of your thoughts about this upcoming event or otherwise share some props for ITSMF. Heck, if you're there please consider making an online donation to support our Foundation's efforts to increase the Jesse Bemley Scholarship Fund. What say u?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Blogging While Brown Conference Call For Papers

Planning is underway for Blogging While Brown: The First International Conference for Bloggers of Color, scheduled for July 25-27, 2008 at the Georgia World Conference Center and Hilton Downtown in Atlanta, GA.

The most important purpose of the conference is to share knowledge. The conference will promote intellectual, social, and cultural development of the blogging community by bringing bloggers of color together. Blogging While Brown is an opportunity to meet other bloggers and blog readers of color for the first time, discuss current issues of interest to bloggers of color, network with individuals and organizations interested in leveraging online activity with offline results, and learn about the latest technology that will assist bloggers with publishing their work and improving their readers experience by fully engaging in the newest media technology.

Blogging While Brown is currently accepting proposals for workshops that will appear at the conference. The three Conference Tracks are:
  1. From the Screens to the Streets: News, Politics, and Social Justice - This track will feature sessions related to blogging about current events, activism, and bloggers who are leveraging their online resources to get offline results.

  2. Blogging Building Blocks -This conference track will feature sessions related to the nuts and bolts of blogging such as technology, blogging widgets, the business of blogging, monetizing blogs, increasing blog traffic, legal issues, design, layout and improving the reader experience.

  3. The Blogs of Our Lives -This conference track will feature sessions related to entertainment, gossip, lifestyle and social networking, how not to get sued, artist promotion, and the blogs that are our favorite guilty pleasures.

Who may submit workshop proposals? - Any and all individuals interested in bloggers of color and the issues or interest to them should submit proposals. Individuals from for- profit and not-for-profit entities may submit proposals for consideration provided the proposed workshop supports the theme, goals or workshop subject areas of the Conference.


BETF-Blog Readers, don't wait until the last minute! Download the Workshop Proposal Form or review some of the other suggested topics on the Blogging While Brown blog.

I am hopeful that BDPA leaders will find a way to market our organization. Be as creative as you want to be. Work with other bloggers and blog readers. If you have any questions, email

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Darrell Styles, Epsilon Award Winner from Eli Lilly and Company

BDPA awarded the Epsilon Award for Outstanding Technical Contribution at the annual conference earlier this year to Darrell Styles, a young brother from Indianapolis. Darrell's winning nomination read as follows:
Darrell is currently a Lead Architect on our SAP implementation with a concentration in pay, time tracking and compensation. Darrell has had an outstanding IT career that has spanned sixteen years. Darrell has performed as a programmer/analyst, independent consultant and most recently the lead technical architect in companies ranging from small firms to large (Fortune 100) companies. Darrell has focused his entire career on SAP and has been instrumental in providing solutions for HR, Financial, and Production Planning. Most recently at Eli Lilly and Company, he has been the lead architect for the Time Management and Payroll Modules which administers compensation for over 23,000 employees in the United States and 41,000 employees globally. He has set direction for all modifications for Time Management and continues to look for innovative ways to enhance business processes through technology such as workflow and .net. Darrell is currently the highest ranking African American technologist at Eli Lilly and Company.
BETF-Blog Readers, you gotta admit that we have some powerful brothers and sisters in BDPA. What will it take for you to make an online donation to support our efforts to create more Darrells with the young people in Indianapolis and around the country?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Lack Of Black Tech Professionals Hurts U.S., Bill Gates Says

Microsoft is working with the National Society of Black Engineers and hiring and promoting African American programmers and engineers. BETF-Blog Reader hope that the incoming BDPA leaders will work with BDPA Education & Technology Foundation to get Bill Gates and Microsoft to work at a much deeper level with BDPA in 2008.

"The United States is not turning out from any group as many of the great engineers as there will be jobs for," said Gates, who added that Blacks are particularly underrepresented in the tech industry because high school dropout rates in the Black community exceed 50%.

"That is a stunning number … the trends are very much working against somebody in that situation," said Gates, speaking at a conference hosted by the National Society of Black Engineers at Microsoft’s Redmond, Wash., headquarters.

"There will be a huge number of computer science jobs created over the next 10 years, and the number of people majoring in those subjects is falling short of that,"said Gates.

According to a study by the National Science Foundation, fewer than 6,000 of the 52,500 computer science graduates in the U.S. in 2004 were Black. "The shallow pool of skills is due, in part, to the lack of minorities being drawn into technology," said NSBE executive director Carl Mack, in a statement.

Microsoft, named by the NSBE as the top employer for Black engineers, said it’s trying to change that by partnering with NSBE and hiring and promoting African American programmers and engineers. Do BDPA and NSBE work together on local or national level? If not, this might be a good reason to do so in the coming weeks and months.

The company also announced a software developer grant to the NSBE that gives its members a three-year membership in the Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance. The memberships give NSBE faculty and students access to a range of Microsoft products and technologies, including Windows Vista, SQL Server, and Visual Studio.

Gates said that Microsoft will continue its efforts to build a diverse workforce. "We want to get Black engineers, Hispanic engineers … everyone that we can," he said. Someone needs to let Mr. Gates know that BDPA is a viable source of Black IT professionals.

2007 Holiday Celebration (Richmond)

BETF-Blog Readers are encouraged to become involved with our youth and their future in Information Technology by supporting BDPA in any of the 49 cities where we have local chapters.

BDPA Richmond chapter wants you to celebrate the holiday season in support of their mission, 'EDUCATE TO ELEVATE'. BDPA adds value to our community through youth technology training and adult computer literacy programs. We know that technology affects all of our Personal and Professional Lives ... so perhaps it is time for us to come together under the BDPA banner to make a difference.

Anyhow, you are welcome to participate in the 2007 Holiday Celebration of our BDPA Richmond chapter. The logistics of the annual celebration are as follows:

Date: Friday, December 14, 2007
Time: 7:30 pm until 11:30 pm

Location: Pine Camp Cultural Arts and Community Center
4901 Old Brook Road - Richmond, VA 23222

This is a great way to celebrate the season. You can RSVP by email ( or phone (804.751-5171). Cost of donation to attend this celebration is $15/members and $20/future members.

Friday, November 23, 2007

How to Transition Effectively in Today's Job Market (Richmond)

It has been exciting to watch our BDPA Richmond chapter grow 44% in membership over the past twelve months. The chapter is now the third largest chapter in BDPA nation. Part of the reason for the chapter's success is focus on delivering excellent monthly program meetings. As such, it is with pleasure that we encourage BETF-Blog Readers to attend the November 2007 program meeting hosted by our BDPA Richmond chapter.

IT professionals and students often often lose thousands of dollars in lost or delayed income as they look for new jobs in our industry. The challenges of today's economy have made finding a job, managing your career, and planning for your future totally different than it was just a year ago. Old methods, strategies, and tactics no longer apply. Ernesto Sampson will share information on 'How to Transition Effectively in Today's Job Market'.

The logistics for the meeting are as follows:

Date: Tuesday – November 27, 2007
Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Place: Wellpoint Davis Center/Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
2015 Staples Mill Road, Shenendoah Room
Richmond, VA

Admission to this meeting is free and Hors d’oeuvres will be served. You are encouraged to bring your resume with you to the meeting as there are always IT recruiters in attendance. You can obtain more information by email ( or phone (804.751-5171).

Advancing the Knowledge Economy

There are a number of BDPA chapters taking advantage of the Digital Literacy curriculum provided by Microsoft. This curriculum is provided by Microsoft's Global Corporate Affairs Department. Pamela Passman is vice president of the company's Global Corporate Affairs Department where Microsoft develops partnerships, donates strategically and provides training to broaden access to technology and computing skills to those who need it.

BDPA programs and services are premised on the fact that the United States is falling behind in efforts to equip its workers ... especially African Americans ... with the basic technology and computing skills necessary for them to compete in the global economy.

Just pick up a newspaper, turn on the television or strike up a conversation with business and government leaders. They’ll tell you that while U.S. efforts to ready its workforce have slipped, countries like India, China and Russia have stepped up their IT educational pursuits. These developing countries are hoping to duplicate the economic success the United States has enjoyed in the last three decades, due in large part to its embrace of information and communications technologies.

Passman talked about these issues during a keynote address that she gave for the National Association of Workforce Boards Forum.

She also participated in a detailed interview in which she discussed the global IT workforce situation where she talks about Microsoft’s efforts to help U.S. workers flourish in the knowledge economy of today and tomorrow. I thought that BETF-Blog Reader might be interested in these exchanges with Passman.

What do you think? Does she have a point?

Can Mentoring Programs Really Grow Minority Businesses?

Entrepreneurs are one of the five stakeholder groups targeted by BDPA. I have operated fully as an entrepreneur since July 5, 2002, so I'm grateful to BDPA for its focus on entrepreneurs.

The Institute for Entrepreneurial Thinking is the leading authority on issues related to minority business development and supplier diversity. The Institute's mission is to help its clients improve the outcomes of their investments in these areas. Dr. Mel Gravely owns The Institute and uses it to provide an objective, balanced and practical resource committed to providing leading edge insight about the evolving opportunities and challenges related to race and business.

I encourage all BETF-Blog Reader to check out the featured article in the November 2007 issue of The Entrepreneurial Thinker entitled, 'Can Mentoring Programs Really Grow Minority Businesses?'.

BETF-Blog Reader, do you know the other four BDPA stakeholder groups?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

BDPA IT Holiday Mixer (New York)

BETF-Blog Reader are cordially invited to network with BDPA New York chapter as they celebrate the Holiday Season at Baton Rouge Restaurant located in the heart of Harlem. BDPA New York chapter has much to celebrate in 2007. They began the year as the 7th largest chapter in the nation ... and they grew their membership to the point that they are now the 2nd largest BDPA chapter in the nation.

The holidays are a time of giving thanks and BDPA New York chapter leaders want to express their thanks to chapter members, supporters and sponsors for assisting them reach their mission and goals.

The logistics for the evening is as follow:

Wednesday, December 19, 2007
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Baton Rouge Restaurant
458 W. 145th Street (between Convent and Amsterdam)
Harlem, NY

Donation: $15 before December 1st, $20 after

There will be dancing, cash bar, food, door prizes and fun! All proceeds from the event will support BDPA-NY's Student Information Technology Education & Scholarships (SITES) activities and programs. Don't procrastinate. You can purchase your tickets online right now.

If you have any questions, please send an email to or call (212) 802-5341. BETF-Blog Reader, if you cannot attend would you consider making an online donation to support our scholarship program?

Scholarships and College Life Information (Los Angeles)

I was the guest speaker at the October 2007 program meeting for BDPA Los Angeles. They have upgraded their speaker list substantially this month! Two executives from Caltech will be the guest speakers at the November 28 program meeting in Los Angeles.

We encourage all BETF-Blog Readers in southern California to come share as Dr. Erica O'Neal Howard (Caltech Assistant Vice President) shares scholarship and college life information. At the same time, Beverly Allen (Caltech IT Director) will bring enlightenment on recent technology trends and areas we as IT professionals should be guiding our high school and college students, and areas we need to explore to remain marketable in today's work environment.

Dr. Erica O’Neal Howard is Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at Caltech. Her responsibilities focus on enrollment management and student diversity. A native southern Californian and a cum laude graduate of Harvard, Erica holds a master's of science and a PhD in higher education from the University of Pennsylvania. She has conducted research on the effectiveness of focused academic programs and published articles and given talks on issues of diversity, academic preparation, and organizational change.

Beverly Allen is the Director of Business Systems Development for Information Management Systems and Services (IMSS) at Caltech. She has been with Caltech for seven years. Her responsibilities are to provide management, direction, and oversight for application developers supporting all administrative areas, including Finance, Human Resources, Student Services, and the Academic Divisions. She is also responsible for directing the implementation and management to meet Caltech’s productivity, quality, and client satisfaction targets. Her background is in the area of implementing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems.

The meeting logistics are as follows:

When: Wednesday, November 28, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Location: Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall
Community Meeting Room (first floor, near Sears, adjacent to the Police Office)
3650 West Martin Luther King Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

You can RSVP online or phone (818.266-9147). Our BDPA Los Angeles chapter is currently the 17th largest chapter in the nation. I anticipate that they will be in the Top Ten before MLK's birthday. Help 'em out if you can!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Leveraging Your Engineering or IT Background at Limited Brands (Columbus)

One of the most important benefits of membership in BDPA is the opportunity to learn more about the inner workings of the major corporations that are headquartered in our 49 chapter cities. LimitedBrands has their world headquarters in Columbus OH. Therefore, our BDPA Columbus chapter expects a large turnout for this month's program meeting, 'Leveraging Your Engineering or Information Technology Background in a Retail Environment'.

Logistics for the meeting are as follows:

Date: Thursday, November 29, 2007
Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Place: 3 Limited Parkway; Columbus OH 43230
For more information you can contact BDPA Columbus chapter at

HSCC Testimonial: Quin Raye (1998-2001)

The National BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) is over 20 years old now. There have been hundreds of young people representing their city and chapter on national teams at these annual competitions. Very few students compete more than once or twice. As such, I am honored to share the testimonial of a young lady that was a 4-time member of her chapter's national team. BETF-Blog Readers, please welcome Quin Raye to this little patch of cyberspace. Here are her words:

Every child has a dream or vision of what they want to be when they "grow up", and for me all I could see in my future was medicine. Well that all changed during my seventh grade year, of middle school when I became part of BDPA, suddenly I wanted to work within the IT field. I’ve been a member of BDPA for ten years and my involvement in this organization had a huge impact on my current career. Not only did BDPA provide me with outstanding programming skills, but this organization has helped me overcome my fear of public speaking and gave me an extra boost in my confidence level.

Having the opportunity to learn so much and network with so many people gave me more of competitive edge when I entered into the realm of Corporate America. I am currently an Information Analyst at a large Oil company located in Houston, TX and I have BDPA to thank for a part of my success.

Quin competed in the national high school competition in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001. Please share some love with this Dallas chapter HSCC alumni member. She now lives and work in Houston, TX. Hopefully, we can talk her into becoming active with our chapter in Houston so that she can share her magic directly with the young people of that city!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

ITSMF Honors Black IT Leaders

The Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF) honored three Black IT pros at the organization's second annual awards dinner in Cupertino, CA.

Joseph Cleveland (shown in photo with other ITSMF leaders), retired CIO of Lockheed Martin, received the Diamond Leadership award for his contributions to the advancement of the IT industry and support of diversity initiatives. Robert Perrin, president and CEO of Magellan Associates, received the Beacon award, which recognizes an IT entrepreneur whose firm shows significant growth. The Summit Heritage award went to Dr Sandra Johnson (shown in photo with her mom), CTO and senior tech staff member at IBM, for her contributions to the industry.

Johnson & Johnson was named corporate sponsor of the year and Procter and Gamble is organization of the year. Bank of America senior VP Stephanie Hill was honored as ITSMF member of the year. The awards ceremony was sponsored by Hewlett-Packard.

For info on ITSMF membership, sponsorship or events contact executive director Viola Thompson at

19th Annual Awards Banquet (Chicago)

Yvette Graham is the outgoing president of the BDPA Chicago chapter. She shares the following video invitation for all BETF-Blog Readers and all members of our BDPA Group on LinkedIn Network to join her at the upcoming awards banquet hosted by her chapter.

I plan to attend. How about you?

Monday, November 19, 2007

HSCC Testimonial: Monique Jones (2006-2007)

Hello, my name is Monique Jones and I am currently a graduating senior attending Garinger High School in Charlotte, North Carolina. I will soon be able to walk across the grand stage to receive my high school diploma in January 2008, and I just can’t wait until that day arrives! In the 9th grade, I started out my high school career as a very shy, quiet, and focused individual. By the 10th grade, I developed a reputation around the school as the “bookworm”, “nerd”, or “over-achiever” of every class I took part in. I had grown so used to working alone and being able to depend on myself to get the work done properly, that I failed to realize the benefits of group work and conversing with my peers.

Thanks to BDPA’s High School Computer Competition training programs, I was able to learn the value of teamwork and the advantages of networking and being more social with my peers. I joined up with the BDPA in the middle of 10th grade when we were preparing for the competition of 2006. Preparing for the competition for the first time was extremely challenging for me, mostly because the topics were all new to me. Prior to these classes, the most I knew about web design was pre-designed AOL engines that allowed the user to design pages by clicking and dragging text and images onto the screen. Simply learning basics such as HTML and how to create my “own” web page from scratch was an amazing new world for me. It was hard to get used to using and memorizing tags and attributes at first, but I became so excited to see my designs creatively work and flow together to form my “masterpieces” (plain and simple as they were). Somehow, my determination to master this new art and the multiple choices questions that came along with it earned me a spot on the competition team representing Charlotte. It was such a surprise to me that I had come that far, because I initially started the program to be with a friend and have an excuse to get out of the house every week. Never had I imagined that I would develop a talent for programming or to be one of the few chosen to participate on the team; but I am sure glad that I did!

With the contributions of our chapter’s main sponsor, Martin Davis (Corporate CIO for commercial technology at Wachovia), our team was able to fly to both conferences in 2006 and 2007. It was nothing short of amazing to be able to travel to the areas of Los Angeles, California and Washington D.C. The trips were great because we were able to see another side of the country that most of us had never seen before. It was a great eye opener for all of us into the daily lives of people in different environments; from coping with the chills of living on the west coast to overcoming fears of traveling underground in subways. Since most of us became pretty tense and nervous while anticipating the competition’s end and the announcement of the winners at the Awards Ceremony, touring the atmosphere outside of the hotel was a great escape from all of the pressures of last minute cramming and catching up with jetlag. Thanks to HSCC, we also have these unique experiences to go along with the claim of being an east coaster who had actually visited California before.

Going back to the HSCC training for the second year was wonderful! We had a variety of new instructors ready and willing to teach us everything we needed to know to prepare yet again for the competition. I was a lot more confident with my own abilities so catching on to the new material was not as much of a problem as it was before. It all became a game for me to see how much more I had learned over the year’s course to be more beneficial for my team. My best memory of the HSCC experience is the night of the Awards Ceremony at the 2007 Conference. Our team had made a steady improvement in the ranks, year after year. We came from second-to-last to around the halfway mark in the 2006 competition. In 2007, a new policy was opened. Instead of scholarship going to the top three high scoring chapters, they would be awarded to the top five. That year we came in 6th place, just 30 points short of scholarships for the whole team. Even though we did not win, that night became my proudest moment of my entire HSCC experience. It showed that with dedicated teamwork, we can achieve anything; steady improvement being the most important.

My class encouraged me to speak up and voice my opinions the year before, so whenever I had a question or a suggestion they were sure to hear it. I have learned from them that teamwork is extremely important in a project because different minds catch on to different aspects at different rates. It is a lot better to have a teammate think ahead to a potential issue in the planning stage than for one person to concentrate on one-step at a time and eventually crash. Our instructors also taught me to overcome my shyness in interviews and to try to be more outgoing. Network! Opportunities do not just come to you with a beginner’s status. They taught me that companies are looking for leaders and you have to be able to go out there and present yourself. Thanks to HSCC, I am now more sociable and outgoing than I ever thought I would be. I have been practicing my networking skills with the faculty around the school as a senior this year, and I can honestly testify to you that opportunities definitely comes to those who seek! Thank you HSCC!

Editor's Note: BETF-Blog Readers, would you like to increase the number of teams earning scholarships in 2008 to six. Monique talks about what it felt like to be the #6 team when only five teams won scholarships.

We can get a sixth team if we can get $2,500 ($500 per team member) funding commitment from individuals or corporations. Reply to this message with you pledge. Anything from $25 to $250 to $2,500 would be great. Will you step up to this 6th Place Scholarship challenge laid out in honor of Monique Jones?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

African American Women In Technology

AAWIT is a virtual organization that I have followed for a number of years. They have an active online community used to communicate with hundreds of African American women from across the country employed in or aspiring to enter the IT field. I encourage any sisters that are reading this blog to join the AAWIT online community to share job openings, events from around the country, career and personal advise and positive messages to uplift you during your workday.

Monique Boea is the founder and guiding light for this crew. Monique recently noted, "With issues such as outsourcing, immigration and our current political scene, it is imperative that we as a community band together and support each other. The African American community has been and will continue to be most affected by these issues."

AAWIT's mission is to support the education, support and advancement of African American women in the field of Information Technology. The bulk of the members are in the Atlanta GA area. I truly hope that our BDPA Atlanta chapter, as well as our 2008 National BDPA Conference team can figure out some way to hook up with Monique and her organization over the coming weeks and months.

Monique opened up membership in AAWIT to the entire African American technology community. Click here for a complimentary membership.

BETF-Blog Readers, are any of you already a member of AAWIT? In any case, what do you think of what AAWIT is working to accomplish? Can BDPA and AAWIT find ways to work together in your view?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

BDPA Chicago Election Results....

BETF-Blog Readers, please join me in congratulating the 2008-2009 officers of the BDPA Chicago Chapter.

2008-2009 BDPA Chicago Chapter Officers

These brothers and sisters have the challenge of maintaining the remarkable legacy of the strongest chapter in BDPA history. Share some love in the comments section for Rhonda and her incoming leadership team.

Friday, November 16, 2007

NPR Blogger Roundtable Invites Wayne Back Again

I learned today that I will be back on the blogger roundtable hosted by NPR News & Notes in January 2008 to discuss the evolution of The AfroSpear as well as the recent ranking of influential Black blogs.

We ran out of time to discuss this segment during the Nov 14 NPR Blogger Roundtable ... so, we rescheduled that segment for January 9. BETF-Blog Readers, did you have a chance to listen to the 13-minute roundtable discussion with me, La Shawn Barber and Yobachi Boswell? If so, what did you think?

HSCC Testimonial: Jonathan Johnson (2001)

BETF-Blog Readers have a chance to read the testimonials from our HSCC alumni. Our HSCC program was created over 20 years ago. I would love to find some of the alumni from the 1980s and 1990s. For now, I am grateful to Jonathan Johnson. This is the first time, to my knowledge, that we are hearing from someone who competed back as far as the 2001 national conference.

Here are the words from one of our warriors!

My name is Jonathan Johnson. I am an alumni member that represented BDPA Dallas chapter in the 2001 High School Computer Competition (HSCC). In 2001, I joined BDPA and attended the Dallas Chapter SITES program. These classes give me several useful technical skills including HTML, JavaScript, ASP, and SQL. More important than these skills; however, was the exposure to the IT Profession environment.

The experience of planning projects, solving problems, and giving presentations will follow me for the rest of my life and assist me in any career I may choose to enter in the future. Being able to network with professions in the IT field, learning about their experiences and the problems they face everyday is invaluable. My affiliation with BDPA has led to several internships and has given me confidence in myself necessary to face the world of IT.

Please share some love with Jonathan in the comments section! In fact, please consider making a donation to BETF on behalf of Bro. Johnson and the HSCC alumni of the future!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Youth Service America

Youth Service America and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) are offering $2,000 grants to help organizations replicate successful youth engagement experiences. Successful applicants will involve youth in addressing the world’s most pressing social issues, such as climate change, hunger, disease, nutrition, literacy, disaster relief, poverty, and more. Eligible applicants are local, state, or national organizations that are part of a national network, organization, or broader coalition of organizations and want to replicate their successful youth engagement experience (for youth ages 5-25) throughout that network without a youth strategy. Examples include but are certainly not limited to: food banks, zoos, housing authorities, and other non-profit organizations addressing a social issue. Applicants should plan to use Global Youth Service Day as a primary vehicle to engage youth in the issue addressed.

The grant can be used to promote participation in 2008 and 2009 Global Youth Service Day. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to pursue funding for an effort that takes place over a multi-year period. Click here for more information . Deadline: November 30, 2007.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wayne Hicks on NPR Blogger Roundtable Hosted by Farai Chideya

BETF-Blog readers, I am heading to local NPR station later today to participate in a weekly blogger roundtable on News & Notes hosted by Farai Chideya. I will be joined by La Shawn Barber and Yobachi Bowell. The show is pretty relaxed -- think of it as a conversation around the dinner table with friends and family, or at a coffee house or bar.

My understanding is that we will be talking about four topics (time permitting) during the show:
  1. Growing influence of 'The AfroSpear - The history of AfroSpear is documented. This progressive section of the afrosphere stoked the fires that led to mainstream media coverage of Jena Six, Genarlow Wilson and Shaquanda Cotton situations. The group recently began to track the Top 10 Black Blogs with a list that is published monthly on both the Electronic Village and BDPA Foundation blogs.

  2. Who speaks for Black America? Anyone?? - Personally, I think that this is a bugaboo of white powers-that-be resulting from their utter surprise at the response of Blacks all over the country to the news of MLK's assasination.

  3. UC system considers using race for admissions - I think that affirmative action programs are valid responses to institutionalized racism. As such, I think that using race for admissions is a valid option for consideration.

  4. HOTGIRLS - (Helping Our Teen Girls In Real Life Situations) uses rap music to start conversations with girls about the challenges they face growing up --- BUT rap is often blamed for promoting degrading images of women -- Is this what they call a conundrum?

Anyhow BETF-Blog readers, I hope that you will listen to the show live or via the taped audiocast! Let me know what you think about the four topics or the show itself!

Monday, November 12, 2007

BETF & Richmond Chapter Receive $18,000 Check to Support Youth Education

BDPA Education & Technology Foundation, in conjunction with BDPA Richmond chapter, is proud to announce receipt of $18,000 grant from The Community Foundation Serving Richmond & Central Virginia. This funding will be used to support the SITES programming for Richmond chapter in 2007-2008. The SITES program in Richmond includes their High School Computer Training program, Middle School Computer Terminology Quiz Bowl, and the First LEGO League program. Kudos to Jackie Pryor, BDPA Richmond chapter president, for leading the effort to get this funding!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

BDPA Opens New Chapter in Delaware

BDPA recently chartered a new chapter in the northern Delaware area to provide greater career opportunities for information technology (IT) professionals. BDPA is a global organization with 49 chapters focused on the advancement and technical development of IT professionals.

"We are delighted that BDPA has a home in northern Delaware. With the support of sponsoring companies such as JPMorgan Chase, IT professionals throughout the area will be able to tap into new resources and networking opportunities to help advance their careers. In addition, this chapter will enable companies to grow a diverse talent pool across a range of IT specializations," noted National Vice President Coretta Poole.

The newest BDPA chapter will assist African Americans and others throughout the Northern Delaware area to advance their careers in the IT profession through education, mentoring, and business networking. The BDPA Northern Delaware chapter will also mentor area high school and college students interested in technology careers.

The founding board members of the BDPA Northern Delaware chapter are: President, Karen Smith; Vice President Elect, Brenda Roselle; Vice President of Finance, Frederick Smith; Vice President Membership Management, Estelle Cephas; Vice President Member Services, Marc Wilson; and Vice President Strategy Planning, Kevin Evans.

Founded in 1975 by Earl Pace and the late David Wimberly, BDPA is a global member-focused organization that serves the professional well-being of its stakeholders. BDPA remains committed to excellence in delivering expertise by providing a wide spectrum of resources to its members, corporate sponsors, businesses, educational institutions and the community. BDPA national headquarters is located in Largo, Maryland. Click here to join the BDPA Group on the LinkedIn Network!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Cedrick Moore Shares His Thoughts on BDPA

BDPA Education & Technology Foundation seeks funding each year for the BDPA IT Institute. One of the recent graduates from the IT Master Certificate program within the BDPA IT Institute is Cedrick Moore. Cedrick was kind enough to share his thoughts on the Institute as well as his thoughts on the benefits he received over the past years as both a BDPA member and BDPA leader. Cedrick wrote,

BDPA Institute - The BDPA IT Institute Master Certification provided me with the tools that I needed to venture out into the workforce. With discussions about topics such as Six Sigma, Project Management, and Capability Maturity Model (CMM), I was able to research some of the latest technology best practices and methodologies. Having this information allowed me to secure a position with one of the leading technology companies in the world, Hewlett-Packard.

BDPA Member - Being a member of BDPA has completely changed my career. While working for one of the largest Telecommunications companies in the U.S., I found that I needed a way to make myself standout. I wanted to be able to better articulate my ideas. I also wanted to be able to discuss my ideas freely with others in a similar role yet outside of my organization. The answer for me was BDPA. BDPA allowed me to not only share ideas and best practices with other members, it allowed me to obtain the technical skills and training via the BDPA National Conference. In terms of career moves, BDPA is directly responsible for my last two jobs (Senior System Analyst and currently, Senior Consultant with HP).

BDPA Leadership - Being in a leadership role within BDPA has been the greatest thing to ever happen to me. As the Founder and President of the Birmingham Chapter, I was able to meet chapter presidents from across the country. Many BDPA chapter presidents work for Fortune 500 companies while others own there own businesses. The experience provided invaluable networking opportunities. During the BDPA National Conference, you have a chance to converse with corporate CIOs and Senior Vice Presidents from across the country during corporate networking events. Locally, it has added tremendous value to my professional resume. The leadership skills that I learned have carried forward into every job that I have had ever since. If you can lead 50 plus volunteer members, you can definitely lead a team on the job. It was the perfect training.
Much love to Bro. Moore for sharing his testimonial! Have you considered becoming a BDPA member, leader or IT Institute student?

Friday, November 9, 2007

Culminis Newsletter - The Voice (Nov 2007)

The November issue of The VOICE is now available online. The issue this month features an article by Linda Moore about partnering with vendors. In addition, you will find relevant information about the new Heroes Community Launch 2008.

The VOICE is a monthly publication dedicated to monitoring and reporting on the health of the IT ecosystem. Click here for the blog format of the November issue as well. Reach out to with any questions or comments that are not article specific.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Secure Your Wireless Network (Memphis)

Having an unsecured wireless network is an open invitation for hackers to access your computer and steal your personal information, upload malware onto your computer, and otherwise expose you to identity theft, the most prevalent Internet crime.

BDPA members and supporters in the greater Memphis area are invited to attend this month's program meeting entitled, 'How to Secure Your Wireless Network'. You will learn specific ways to prevent potential network intruders from lurking within range of your home.

BDPA Memphis chapter is proud to have this topic presented by Sandra Morgan, Coordinator for the Learning Resource Center at Southern College of Optometry. Her employment at Southern College extends over the past 11 years and she has responsibility for teaching Microsoft Office Professional software applications. She has also been working with computer security since 2002. Prior to working with computer security, she was a Data Analyst. She holds an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Visual Basic/Desktop Publishing and is currently seeking a Bachelor of Science in Management of Computer Information Systems at Park University in Millington, TN.

Attend this meeting to learn how to ensure that no one is sitting across the street from your home stealing your identity. Here are the meeting details:

FedEx World Headquarters
3630 Hacks Cross Road
Building C, Conference Room 3105

5:30pm - 6:00pm - Meet & Greet (refreshments served)
6:00pm - 6:30 - Business meeting
6:30pm - 7:30pm - Program

Click here for online RSVP to Nancy Ford (BDPA Memphis chapter president). Be sure to bring your business cards for the door prize giveaway!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

2nd Annual Awards Banquet (Philadelphia)

BETF-Blog readers, here is information about an event that you will want to make plans to attend. Our current BDPA Chapter of the Year is the BDPA Philadelphia chapter. They are hosting their 2nd Annual Awards Banquet on Saturday, December 1, 2007. The event will be held at the Crowne Plaza Valley Forge Hotel located at 260 Mall Blvd. King of Prussia.

The chapter is hosting a Silent Auction as part of fundraising activities to support their youth education training in coming weeks. As such they need our support to make the Silent Auction a success. Are you interested in donating a product, service or gift certificate for the silent auction? Consider gift certificates for items or professional services, a skill you can offer, your brother’s vacation home, wine and sailing in your boat, consulting. Your hairdresser, attorney or handy man will be happy to have the exposure of an item or gift certificate at the banquet and are happy to give. It’s easy!

All sponsors and donors will receive recognition at the Banquet and on the chapter's website. If you know of a business that may be interested in donating a product or service for the Banquet, please contact Monique Berry at

The chapter also seeks banquet volunteers! BDPA Philadelphia chapter is looking for brothers and sisters to help plan, organize and work at the event. Whether you are interested in logistics, selling tickets or finding sponsors ... your talent and effort would be very much appreciated. Anyone interested in working with the Committee should contact Monique Berry at

Finally, for those of us that simply seek to support by showing up on Saturday, December 1st to enjoy the meal, entertainment and cheer on the award winners ... tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets are $60 and can be purchased at the Philadelphia chapter monthly program meetings, from any Executive Board member or online at Eventbrite.

We advise you to purchase your tickets in advance, as they will cost $80.00 if purchased at the door. We expect brisk ticket sales; remember to buy them early so you won’t miss out!

Any BETF-Blog readers planning to be in Philadelphia on December 1st for this banquet?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Freedom Technology Christmas Testimonial

Shawn Williams of the AfroSpear's Dallas South blog submitted the following encouraging and heart-warming testimonial from one of his readers, C. Morgan Perry:
Hey, Shawn, thank you and AfroSpear Freedom Technology Blog for keeping us up-to-date on whats out there for our use.

I have office 2003 on my desktop but not my laptop. I would often have to get up and sit at my computer desk in order to view word excel or power point attachments sent to me because of this. While visiting your blog I came across AfroSpear Freedom Technology Blog and read about open office by sun system down loaded it and now can view all my microsoft office attachments. And the cost of the program was FREE.

Kudos good looking out.
C. Morgan Perry

Monday, November 5, 2007

2008-2009 National BDPA Executive Committee

  • Founder: Earl Pace
  • President: Denise P. Holland
  • President Elect/VP-Business Management: Yvette Graham
  • VP-Finance: Abraham Joseph
  • VP-Member Services: Kim Davis
  • VP-Membership Management: Eatonia Williams
  • VP-Strategy & Planning: Edwin Sapp
  • Immediate Past President: Gina Billings
  • Outside Director: Wayne Applewhite
  • Outside Director: Norman Fleming
  • Outside Director: Betty Hutchins
Please share some love and encouragement for these brothers and sisters who have agreed to provide leadership necessary to take National BDPA to the next level over the coming months and years. Share your testimony about any of these BDPA leaders that you may have worked with in the past ... or simply congratulate them on their new volunteer assignment!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Seeking 50 Students Interested in Computer Camp Experience (Cincinnati)

BDPA Cincinnati chapter will train 50 high school students in their 2008 Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program. SITES program in Cincinnati is divided into four components: Computer Camp, Youth Technology Seminar Series, High School Computer Competition and Information Technology Showcase.

There are many challenges for the Black community in Cincinnati as demonstrated by the recent voting on the jail tax levy. However, BDPA provides a positive beacon of hope for our youth and high school students as they are introduced to various aspects of IT, including advance research on IT topics, web application development (Basic HTML, FrontPage, SQL, ASP, ASP.NET), web application programming, logic and advanced computer concepts (IT Showcase). The 50 young people selected will participate in weekly programs that begin on Saturday, January 5, 2008.

New students are required to take an entrance exam to determine eligibility. Interested students will need to have the following qualifications:
  • Must be in 8th - 12th grade
  • Interested in Information Technology
  • Good attendance
  • Cooperation
  • Participation
A smaller subset of students my be interested in participating in the National BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) as Cincinnati chapter works to pull together a team that can defeat the current national champions from Rochester, MN. Qualifications for students selected for the HSCC (limited space):
  • Must be in 9th - 11th grade
  • Minimum 2.5 G.P.A.
  • Display a strong interest in Information Technology (demonstrable programming and web development skills)
  • Display natural ability
  • Willing to participate in class
  • Cooperative spirit (teamwork is very important here)
  • Good attendance
The testing for any young people in the greater Cincinnati area interested in this world-class technology training will take place on Saturday, November 17, 2007 @ 10:00 am *or* Saturday, December 1, 2007, 10:00 am. In either case, the location for the testing is:

Cincinnati Business Incubator (CBI)
1634 Central Parkway
Cincinnati, OH 45202
(Downtown near Findlay Market)

Please register online for either the November or December testing dates ( only need to complete #2 Local Register section). You can reach Deborah Prince, BDPA Cincinnati chapter Outreach Director, by email ( or phone (513.956-0636) if you have questions or wish to discuss further.

What do you think of this youth education program?

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Enhancing Education Through Technology

BETF-Blog readers, the House of Representatives and the Senate are scheduled to take up the final version of the FY08 Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations bill, which contains $272 million for Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program the week of November 5. Please email your Senators and Representatives immediately and urge them to support passage of the FY08 Labor, HHS and Education spending bill.

Click Here to enter your zip code and send a letter with this important message.

You need to know that President Bush vowed to veto the final version of the Labor, HHS and Education spending bill because it exceeds his budget proposals by nearly $11 billion, putting EETT funding into jeopardy. The House and Senate need to pass this bill by a two-thirds majority in order to show the President that Congress will override his threatened veto – so every vote counts!

Please make your voice heard and write your congressional representative asking for his/her support of the Labor-HHS and Education bill. Let Congress know the deep impact this funding has on the day-to-day lives of our nation’s students and teachers.

Friday, November 2, 2007

10th Annual Accessibility Internet Rally (AIR-Austin)

Web teams from more than two dozen Austin, Texas, companies converged for a voluntary day of competition October 13th to build new Web sites or improve existing ones for non-profit organizations whose clientele includes those with disabilities. The 10th Annual Accessibility Internet Rally (AIR-Austin) is part of a nationwide initiative to make the Internet accessible for those with disabilities as a tool for gaining knowledge.

Hat tip to Lorna Stewart-Booker (BDPA Austin chapter president) for letting us know how her chapter's team did in the competition. She wrote,
"WOW!!! We Won! We Won! Can you tell we're excited! BDPA Austin chapter's new website has won First Place in the Air-Austin 2007 Stock Car Division. This is exciting for the BDPA family and for the Vesper Web Design team that designed our website. This win means that BDPA is eligible for the state competition scheduled for a later date.

Knowbility, who sponsored the Air-Austin event, supports the independence of children and adults with disabilities by promoting the use and improving the availability of accessible information technology. Check out their website for more information."
Share some love in the comments section for Lorna and the others from BDPA Austin chapter!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Top Ten Black Blogs (Nov 2007)

Welcome to our third month of posting the Top 10 Black Bloggers. This effort began after I noticed that none of the 50 most influential bloggers were of African descent. Instead of complaining about it ... I figured that we should simply publish our own list. We had 75 Black blogs in the Sept 2007 list. The nominees grew to over 300 when the Oct 2007 list was released. Today we have over 430 Black blogs on the list ... and it continues to grow.

The only qualification is that the blogger needs to be of African descent. The blogger does not have to be a member of The AfroSpear or the Afrosphere Bloggers Association, although we invite all Black bloggers to join either (or both) of those organizations. We do think that these Top Ten Black Bloggers are important spheres of influence. Reach out and let them know that you appreciate the work they have put in over the past few months and years to get on this list. Hopefully, they will share their village voice with us right here on the BDPA Foundation blog or over on the Electronic Village

Anyhow, with no further ado, here are the Top Ten Black Bloggers for November 2007. The Technorati authority and rank numbers are shown in parenthesis. The authority indicates the number of blogs that are linked to this blogger over the past six months. The rank number indicates how many blogs are between the person listed and the #1 ranked blog in the world.:

  1. Pam Spaulding: Pam's House Blend (Authority: 1,092 / Rank: 2,325) - [Politics]The blog won the 2006 Web Log Award as the Best LGBT Blog. Pam has an opinion about most anything in the political realm.

  2. Angel Laws: Concrete Loop* (Authority: 1,033 / Rank: 2,526) - [Entertainment] This is a Black celebrity entertainment blog with gossip, music, celebrity interviews, pictures and such.

  3. Natasha E: Young, Black & Fabulous (Authority: 833 / Rank: 3,269) - [Entertainment] Natasha provides you with all the hot gossip in Black Hollywood. Her blog focuses on the fabulous side of Black pop culture, trends and music ... all from a young, Black, and fabulous perspective of course. Natasha currently has two blogs. This one is actually fading down the list as it has been discontinued in favor of her new one, which is currently #47 on the list.

  4. Fresh Crunkjuice: Crunk & Disorderly* (Authority: 788 / Rank: 3,331) - [Entertainment] This blog was created in August 2004, however, it didn't get serious until May 2005. This is an active entertainment blog. The motto is simple and direct, "In Fresh We Trust".

  5. Oliver Willis: Oliver Willis (Authority: 734 / Rank: 4,414) - [Politics] Oliver began this blog in April 2005. His tag linke says that he is kryptonite to stupid. He posts regularly on politics.

  6. Paula Mooney: Paula Mooney’s Tips (Authority: 622 / Rank: 5,746) - [SEO] Paula is a powerful source of ideas for any blogger looking to increase their visitor traffic. She is very enthusiastic about the power of blogging. She works on blogs with both her husband and her father and she was recently a featured speaker at BlogHer in Chicago, IL.

  7. Sokari Ekine: Black Looks (526/ 7,797) - [Social Sciences] This blog began in June 2004. It is primarily about issues that impact our brothers and sisters in Africa. Sokari is currently in London. Her posts cover a range of issues such as gender violence, racism, sexuality, HIV/AIDS and cancer. Sokari and her guest bloggers are all progressives, Africanists and activists with a strong belief in the power of the pen to bring about change.

  8. Darla Mack: Darla Mack News & Reviews (461 / 9,348) - [Technology] Darla is a sister with a technology blog that has a unique niche of Nokia devices, S60, Nseries, Eseries and Symbian. She focuses on mobile technology and nokia phone reviews.

  9. Steve Spaulding: How To Split An Atom (447 / 9,757) - [Technology] How To Split An Atom is a blog about using, abusing, and surviving in the Web X.0 landscape. It's Internet culture, split open. Steve provides a sprinkling of life hacks, meta filtering, personal projects and journalism all at a break neck pace.

  10. Patrice Yursik: Afro Bella* (379 / 12,130) - [Fashion] Patrice is a reformed tomboy from Trinidad. Her blog is dedicated to product reviews, ruminations about style, and interviews with women all shades of beautiful. Expect honest opinions about products, advertising, and entertainment specifically targeted to African American and Caribbean women.

HONORABLE MENTION (11-25): Republic of T, Keith Boynkin*, Entre les Lignes de Jo Ann, Sandra Rose, What About Our Daughters*, Truth & Opinion, The Angry Black Woman, Rod 2.0:Beta, Stereohyped*,*, The Field Negro*, Black In Business*, Angry Black Bitch, African Path and RaceWire

Our rankings lean heavily on the Technorati Authority and Rank score for each blog. We figure that if your content is strong enough for others to link to ... that is a strong indicator of your influence. I am very open to hearing from you on other factors that should be considered in future monthly Top Ten Black Bloggers listings.

Those blogs with an asterisk after their name are winners in the 2007 Black Weblog Award contest held earlier this year. Post a comment below if you are a Black Blogger interested in learning what your ranking is in this month's list!

I eagerly anticipate your comments on this list.