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Black Sites That Are Owned by Whites
by Cinque B. Sengbe

The Internet is evolving so fast, everybody has a site. Every movie has
a URL and nobody does any advertising without carving out a space in
cyberspace. The Internet is so commonly used, that I predict that by
2005, 85% of the families living above the poverty level will have a
presence in cyberspace. Family web pages will be commonplace. I can
envision some sites headers now. "Coming in 2005, www.atterberry.com to
a domain near you. Check the family tree and download relative's baby
pictures.

So just who is using the web? EVERYBODY. Every ethnic group in America
is utilizing the Internet. All the people who don't want to be left out
of the loop are making the adjustment. Don't believe any of the hype
saying African - Americans are not flocking to the Internet. Don't
believe one iota of it.

I have observed the African American web presence more than double in a
year. If you don't believe me just try to do a search under some of the
Black or African American thematic topics that you used to. See how much
more data comes up.

There is just one catch. Many of the sites that you think are controlled
by African Americans are not Black owned, controlled and conceived. I
have an acronym for this. I ask is it BOCC= B(lack) O(wned) C(ontrolled)
C(onceived) ?

Is this a problem? Heck yes. Herein lies another disappointing thing
"happening" where we are not controlling our images and ideas. Yes, I
know that there are those who think that "it is only important that the
target audience be African American." Some say it is not relevant that
popular African American sites be BOCC's. I just want to name some
sites, which most people assume, are BOCC but have White ownership.
Black Web Sites That Are Not 100% Black Owned

www.blackfamilies.com
Owner: Cox Interactivewww.blackvoices.com
Owner: Tribune Media
www.cybersoul.com
Owner: HBO
www.blackplanet.com
Owner: Asian Avenue
www.peeps.com
Owner: BMG
www.defjam.com
Owner: Polygram
www.netnoir.com
Owner: AOL (20%)
www.bet.com
Owner: Microsoft/USA Network (50%)

Black Voices (www.blackvoices.com) is owned by the Tribune Media
Corporation. Not Barry Cooper! Blackfamilies.com (www.blackfamilies.com)
is owned by Cox Interactive Media. Not John Pembroke! Cybersoul
(www.cybersoul.com) is owned by HBO.
I have just one question to those who think that it is not important who
owns the Black Image in cyberspace. "If it were not important to control
the Black images in cyberspace,
White firms would not want to!"

I am not saying that Blackvoices, Blackfamilies and Cybersoul are bad
sites. They provide great information. I am saying that this trend is
detrimental to the potential African Americans on the Internet,
especially from an economic vantagepoint. I remember when Afronet gave
space to a White columnist. There were so many people who told me what
an ill-conceived move they felt this was. I agreed then, but I ask,
"Where are your voices now!!"

These sites are well financed and whether they make money or not, having
that cushion allows the worker bees to not worry about whether they are
making money or not.

But how do the sites make money? ADVERTISING!!
Procter and Gamble advertises on Black Voices, but do you think CEO
Barry Cooper gets any of that money? Is he or his staff rewarded with a
bonus? NO!! Does he have any control over the way the money is spent on
the site? NO! The money goes straight into the coffers of the Tribune
Media Corporation.
Advertising is the lifeblood of television, newspaper, radio and the
Internet. Yes, those sites may look great and have all the fancy bells
and whistles, but do you really think Cox Interactive, Tribune and Time
Warner love the African American way of life that much? What say do you
have in supporting BOCC? Or the question should be, "are you BUYING
BLACK??"

The Internet may be the last place the African Americans can control the
destiny of their portrayal in the media. If we don’t support these sites
now, by buying books, music or other gift items THROUGH these site, they
eventually will go out of business. Next time you decide to buy
something on the Internet, take the time to find a BOCC site and then
buy the item or recommend to the site owner that he/she carry that item.
It's not as hard as you might think. Anything you can buy at Yahoo!, you
can buy on any BOCC site.

My hypothesis is that in five years, Whites will either own or become
the significant contributors to the majority of the most popular "Black"
websites. These people realize that to be able to control access to data
and what data people receive is critical to controlling them. Since the
Internet is nothing more than a whole bunch of computers networked
together, it has allowed Black folk to meet and express ideas without
interference from Whites as you have with television, radio, and other
media.
During the days of chattel slavery it was a no-no for Blacks to meet up
and discuss ideas. Even in Africa, colonial European efforts combined to
prevent African people from communicating without their presence.
Although many African countries have their independence now, the
colonizing groups still exert a lot of influence over their radio and
television programming. Nowadays, Black people can legally congregate in
most places on the globe. It is still discouraged like it is in my
hometown of New York City, but it's just more subtle.
I remember some years ago I was home from college for winter break and I
was accosted by police for simply walking with too many other African
American males at night. We were on the sidewalk and they were riding in
the street. They blared their sirens and rode their vehicles on the
sidewalk blocking our path. They got out of the car with hands on their
guns and told us to get up against the wall. We were orderly, quiet and
had committed no crime, but we were Black, all male and there were 20 of
us. There was only two cops initially, but by the time it was all over,
there was a 1 to 1 ratio of Black males to police officers. Nobody got
arrested, although due to my outrage over being stopped, I came close.
Their mission was to give us the "subtle" message, "this is what happens
when we see too many of you people together." The sergeant who arrived
on the scene said we were stopped because we were reported being
disorderly by a 911 caller. A likely story. Twenty Black people were
together doing nothing but "shooting the breeze," but for this white
woman, it was a frightening scene. Just think about the fear that the
Internet represents when you have millions of people who come together
in website chatrooms, post to message boards, read the ideas of other
people who look like them.
It gets even scarier if some of these people aim to do more than "shoot
the breeze" but instead talk about legitimate social issues like the
murder of unarmed African emigrant Ahmadu Diallo at the hands of the New
York City cops. Eventually this sort of linkage could spill over into
"activism." There has to be a medium to dilute or control the way people
interpret national, global or local events. These types of questions
posed by the site administrators on the message boards and the site
survey questionnaires, which downplay race as a factor are examples of
the little things which a White controlled site is more likely to do.

To those who feel the need to monitor us, the Internet is no exception.
The best way to do this is to use a "Black Face/Person" as the visible
site person. Another example might be in the case of a movie, or T.V.
series that Blacks feel is worthy of boycott. The white site is not
likely to endorse a boycott and takes the route of "let's all watch the
show before we judge it prematurely, let's see how it represents "us,"
as one White owned Black series did with the short-lived television
sitcom "The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfieffer," which burlesqued slavery
and virtually made a joke of the horrible life that African people
enslaved in the Western Hemisphere have experienced.

You would never see that sort of nonsense done with other human
tragedies like the Jewish Holocaust. Thank God we were smart enough to
recognize that this show could not continue to air with our economic
support. I could draw thousands of analogies of ways in which these
websites are likely to subtly use subversive methods to control black
frustration and rage, but I feel that portion of my conveyance should be
left to your own imagination. I am sure that you have experiences which
would allow you to recall or draw your own examples.

Although there is a small upside. I think the phenomenon of Black
websites controlled by whites can actually wind up being very
educational. There is a lot of information being circulated which passes
itself off as legitimate data simply because it was done by a Black
person without careful attention being paid to the actual content of
that data. More so I believe that regardless of the race of the author,
the work the individual does should be viewed on its scholastic merit.
Scholarship can not be quantified simply by race; cyber-browsers should
go further with information they receive on the web even when Blacks
control the website. If Black people realize that the data they are
receiving may be an interpretation from a White controlled perspective
(as are 95% of the other media and communication outlets) they may dig
deeper and go further with the data and discover that the data they are
receiving is erroneous. If the ambiguity of website ownership causes
cyber-browsers to do a double take at the information they receive, then
in my opinion it is a good thing. Many Black people too easily accept
information on the basis that the author is Black or has a cultural or
ethnic sounding name. I have seen information appear on BOCC sites which
was more detrimental in its propaganda than stuff that normally receives
a red flag on White media outlets.

Take for example the recently released "Encarta Africana" Encyclopedia
released by Microsoft. This double CD package has been billed as the
first comprehensive work on African culture and history throughout the
Diaspora and Africa. The brain children behind this project are Henry
Louis "Skip" Gates Jr., Chairman of Afro-American Studies and Kwame
Anthony Appiah, professor of Afro-American Studies and Philosophy. Both
of these men are Black and have a following among various groups in the
Black community. I have read interviews with them and about them which
make me worry about what they have done with the original efforts of
W.E.B. Dubois to produce this Encyclopedia. Dubois moved to Ghana in
1961 to establish the Secretariat of the Encyclopedia Africana, but he
died before it was completed. There is a lot of criticism from sources
regarding the efforts by Gates and Appiah. I do know that the
Secretariat in Ghana totally disassociated Dubois’ original project from
their effort. The teacher in me forced me to go through the lesson plans
for educators at www.encarta.msn.com/schoolhouse. In our efforts to
learn more about other white sites, we spoke to John Pembroke of Black
Families.com which is owned by Cox Interactive. He was quite evasive
about providing information about the staff, page views and amount of
money Cox invested. John's official position is Brand Manager (now
what's that)? He is not the CEO, CFO, COO or even the founder.
So you know he answers to someone else. Are all of these H.N.I.C.
executives selling us out? Even the recent BET venture is still
partially white owned. Why?

The bottom line is that you should know which sites are created by Black
efforts or White efforts. You should check it out for yourself. You
might be surprised by what you find. Just remember when you spend your
money, are you handing it over to the white man or are you buying black?


With the Internet, believe me folks,

WE HAVE A CHOICE!!
Click-Black is a Black-owned web hosting company.
They offer hosting plans starting at $9.95 a month.
Nubonyx should be another starting point if you don't want ads popping
up all over your screen. They are Black-Owned Internet Service
Providers with no ad banners? Banner ads can be very annoying since they
slow down your surfing (while new ads are downloaded). The software that
displays the ads can be unreliable and cause your computer to crash.
Unfortunately, all of the free internet access providers with no banner
ads went out of business.
Your best choice is Nubonyx, at $19.95 per month.
Association of African American Web Developers
Permission granted by afronet.com


Copyright © 1999-2003 Black-Network.com - All rights reserved
Web Design by
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Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Thank you for this very compelling piece. Being at the forefront of the BET boycott against the very negative Black images put up on that network, I am all too familiar with the takeover of the Black marketability by white folks.

My question has always been why the need for white folks to target the Black market, specifically, if we are all suppose to be one big ole melting pot with the same goals and objectives being a sovereign nation. No other race of people is used in this manner. And after months of contemplation on the subject, I have come to the conclusion that it isn't just money that drives these entrepreuers, but their need to monitor and control and even direct what products our people will use, how we act, and display ourselves and mostly keep us from thinking for ourselves.

If they (the white marketeers) are in control of our history, our legislation (like online voting), what we see in the media, our music, our way of dressing, speaking and behaving then they are free to set up any type of new world ordering mind control that suits them. If Black people are no longer being us, but are taught how to be Black by white folks, then they will have successfully and completely bred out of us our true history, the memory of what we have achieved and sacrificed to get where we are.

This is a goal that they have always striven for, ever since the days of slavery. With each new generation they have mananged to force upon us new ways of non-Blackness (if we want to be successful here). From beating the afrikan ways out of the slaves, to causing Black people to straighten their hair, to acting so-called Black in these white folk backed movies. And the list goes on and on. With the speed of the internet media, now in many of our lives, they can effect these changes with a greater accuracy, before we even have a chance to access what is happening to us.

Oh they will tell us that all they want is for us to be an equal part of their capitalist society, to work side by side for a better tomorrow. When they still, even a century and half later, continue to portray us as bafoons, lackies, sexual preditors, whores and unintelligent monkies.

Every day they are convincing our children that they should look like and behave as the half clad, doping, pimp and prostitute-looking people they see flaunting their asses to a video camera. They are showing our children nothing but high paid athletes and hip hop artists who are constantly getting in horrible trouble despite their high dollar professions. They play up the "join the army" commercials, where our children can get themselves killed, while they play down the respectable professions with ads like "get your 2 year degree" at some tech school nobody ever heard of. It is all a continuation of the same ole thing, to keep our people from realizing our potential by throwing us a few scrapes in the way of 2 or 3 hundred athletes and some temporary rap artists they keep in the negative news on an alternating basis with the yet to be proven Black criminals. They set us up, just to knock us down.

And I have never seen it to fail, since I have been using these message boards---every single time the viewership goes up and our people start discussing relevant, powerful issues that provide us self-esteem and answers, here come the white folk backers with their sports shoe and hip-hop centric ads to possess and dictate the genre of the site. Or if that doesn't happen, then all of a sudden the site is mysteriously shut down. The Black Web Portal message board is just the latest in a series of takeover and shutdowns as of November 19.

Until our people start to take a serious look at this on-going breach and errosion of our culture, and stop thinking it can't happen to them or white folks are just looking out for our best interest, it will continue until we have completely lost ourselves and then the controllers will be able to train us to bow down to the dust, just like the days of slavery.
Anaksanamun,

I feel ya....and no matter how old I get, I will never buy into the characterization of black people the white media promotes.....it all based on being an ignorant azz fool as our normalcy.......I see it all as a great distraction intended to leave us vunerable to various forms of social engineering and overall not very competitive. That is why I do not discuss to much with black youth except acheivement and understanding the realm of the black social existence.....so they may excel and separate themselves from having to deal with the common white inbred racists whose whiteness is the only thing they have going for them.....and that is not doing them any good anymore.....white racists had their heyday in the 40-50's and it has been downhill for them since......their decline just does't happen in totality fast enough for me.....I feel the strenght of your message though.....as Julian Bond said, "I don't think I even have a demographic anymore".....and that I understand.......because I do not and will not ever try to relate to any of the sad azz media portrayal of black people......at all
MBM,

no one cares about the bottom dwellers..they cannot even compete in a society that is biased in their favor....let alone a truly obective merit-based society. they would be the ones to perish first. Their underlying anger stems from a lack of societal accomodation as they see those blacks who they really thought they were superior to (ha! ha!) pass them on by. I deal with them all the time and make sure I leave them to bask in their own intellectual, financial and physical inferority....I never try to rehab a racist....I try to give them more reasons to be one and stay prepared to deal with them if they want to take it to that next level........
Right Kevin 90% of the white race cannot be trusted. They try -and succeed- to control our websites, lives and thoughts deliberately to destroy us! They hang around us or make sure to have any kind of tie with us to weaken our wit and strength in every way possible. I see them like weak germs of our Original Black Race. Unfortunately too few of us know how to detect their virus to OPPOSE IT!

AfroMan.
Kevin41:

However you came to that conclusion, you are right. Our energy needs to focused on us. Others who wish you well are not to be concerned about. Those that don't wish you well aren't worth the sweat off your... brow.

Anaksanamun:

It took me a while to get it, also. In looking back it is crystal clear. Containment and control are the goal. Money is the by-product. A welcome reward to be sure, but it is not the goal.

Not to harp, but my narrow mission helps me with this persistent invasion constantly. When the average European learns what I have done, there is an immediate effort to investigate, discredit, and negate. But it is never face-to-face. There is never a position of "you are wrong because..." Rather it is quiet discrediting among the professions and institutions that results in denying access to the "System."

You are right they have control of our children. Sadly, we gave the control to them without our overisight.

PEACE

Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.
quote:
..." Rather it is quiet discrediting among the professions and institutions that results in denying access to the "System."


And it is all too apparent on these message boards (a microcsom) of what happens in the bigger life picture. Here on the net the usurpers grow cyber balls and will express themselves in a manner they would not dare to in every day situations. They will allow us to know their thoughts, in some cases. And then when we have shut them down, in too many instances, and let them know, we are not afraid of their cowardly rhetoric, they will shut us down by finding a way to remove the site or kicking us off the board. It is a blatant infraction on our freedom of speech. And everyone who knows what that means is aware of this. However, going through the court system to prove what is already a foregone conclusion is the only recourse--to spend unneccessary funds that can be counter-acted by as many appeals as it takes until the defendant dies. What a circle *uck.

quote:
You are right they have control of our children. Sadly, we gave the control to them without our overisight.



But it is not hopeless. We can get our children back. But it will take teamwork, time and effort. And in some cases we must be willing to battle our own who have flipped to the side of the usurper for personal gain. The boycott of the lead Black network is a major step in that direction. The white folks know it, and as the word continues to spread and more people act on it and voice their opinions on it, the racist sponsors will be powerless to do anything but meet our demands.
quote:
Originally posted by ThaWatcher:
Can someone inform or post the difference between Bob Johnson's ownership and Viacom's ownership of BET??....They aren't playing any more videos now, and they aren't perpetuating a "more negative" image than Bob Johnson was....


Since I am many people were not watching BET at the time of Bob Johnson's ownership, I cannot say for sure that the present day disrepectful practices were in place. But I have heard this, and so for the moment I will take your word that this is true.

But regardless of what was going on then, the problem present day protestors are having is with what is going on today. Perhaps if the same people had become aware or had the time or inclination back then, they would have started the protest then. I understand this boycott of the network has been going on for 5 years. Just because noone boycotted when Johnson owned the network, doesn't mean that those negative images were acceptable. It just means that noone took enough of an interest to start the boycott until they started it.

Black people were forced to sit in the rear of the coach long before Rosa Parks made her courageous move. But I don't hear anyone asking, why a boycott of the transit system didn't take place before that. The questioning of the system happens when it happens. When enough people get fed up and enough forces come together to make it happen, it happens and not before.
SheLeopard posted;

The boycott of the lead Black network is a major step in that direction. The white folks know it, and as the word continues to spread and more people act on it and voice their opinions on it, the racist sponsors will be powerless to do anything but meet our demands.

***Correct....remember when they were going to air the sitcom about the "happy slave" under Lincoln, Desmond Pfeiffer? It took no time flat for a unified response against that show and it ended immediately. Too bad motiation is selective and not constant..........
Excellent observation Kevin41. And where is that offensive "Whoopi" show now?--The one white folks claim was so popular, loved and watched by millions.

Babylon can make up any story they want to cover up what they do and what they would like see happening, but the bottom line is no support equals no profit. And even trying to save face is too expensive for them to carry off if consumers ain't paying no attention.

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