Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Blogging and Black Studies

“… I discovered that it is not the quality of goods and utility which matter, but movement; not where you are or what you have, but where you have come from, where you are going and the rate at which you are getting there.” --C.L.R. James, Beyond a Boundary

In a way, we’re both late and early getting our black studies program into the blogosphere. A book like Matt Bai’s The Argument: Billionaires, Bloggers, and the Battle to Remake Democratic Politics, for example, confirms that progressives have been actively blogging for a little more than a decade.

Over the last several years, African American bloggers have been gaining more and more visibility. In fact, black bloggers played a leading role in convincing Democratic candidates to cancel a primary debate that was to appear on Fox. The Congressional Black Caucus was a co-sponsor, but “black netroots activists” took a stand against Fox and successfully organized to prevent the debate in the proposed venue.

Despite the building presence of black bloggers and the prevalence of blogs in general, few, if any, black studies programs have taken up blogging. What’s the deal? Why no university black studies blogs? Why so late to the blog party?

Of course, few academic programs (not just black studies) are aware or concerned about establishing blog projects. Perhaps, many of the black studies programs lack the resources to have a group of committed bloggers. And maybe there’s also a lack of interest.

We can tell you from experience that posting regularly can be a time-consuming process. And yet, regular posts are necessary for effective blogging.

What would lead more black studies programs to take part in this form of communication and organizing? In what ways would the development of more black studies blogs benefit us?

Give us a day or so, and we’ll list some of our responses to those questions. In the meantime, feel free to let us know what you think.

Picture by "Scott Beale / Laughing Squid" from

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