By Arthur Fleming
In the last article, I talked about Freedom Rides 2.0 and what the African American community can do to redirect the negative fascist forces aimed at our community currently.
In this writing, I will discuss African American communication infrastructure within the context of “Civil Rights Freedom Rides 2.0” and how the African American communities can organize resistance to voter suppression and racism.
First, what do I mean by African American communication infrastructure? African American community communication infrastructure is the means by which our African American community disseminates and communicates information throughout our communities to facilitate economic, social, political, physical, and cultural health of the African American communities. We are all infrastructure.
Our ancestors didn’t have the financial nor technological power African Americans have today. For our ancestors, the African American communications infrastructure consisted of “braided” maps in their hair, lyrical tunes in their music, and word of mouth via a language of our own creation. These are just a few of the brilliantly creative communications infrastructure systems created by our ancestors.
Today, the African American communications infrastructure has evolved with each new technology shift.
Examine the evolution of African American communications infrastructure over the past four decades. Technology has evolved exponentially during this period. Communication has moved from the personal rotor phone, pay phone, fax machine, and beepers, to cell phones and a completely integrated technology support system, where we have all these capabilities on one device.
Today, the African American communities have many communications infrastructure tools, from personal devices, social media platforms and websites, to hip hop, soul music, and jazz. And anywhere two or more people gather, in community organizations and in the workplace, simple word of mouth communication equates to community communication infrastructure.
The good news – The African American communication infrastructure is already in place!
African American news outlets, such as the North Dallas Gazette, are key to strengthening our communities’ communication infrastructure. The African American community is being attacked with negative imagery and racially motivated misinformation without response. The Black press is key in responding to misinformation.
The African American institutional communication infrastructure has to be “de-conflicted” and reorganized. By de-conflicted, I mean the African American community organizations, media, civil rights, churches, etc, have the same goals generally, but these institutions’ communication infrastructure systems are not coordinated when addressing these issues.
Our African American institutions and organizations must de-conflict and reorganize around the urgency of defending African American freedoms and rights currently under threat in the form of voter suppression.
The issue is how do we integrate these communications systems to benefit the African American community for the community good?
I suggest the creation of an “information clearinghouse, group, or organization“ for the purpose of creating a meta clearinghouse for the exchange of information between Afrocentric organizations and communities concerning social, economic, political, cultural and other issues in need of response from African American diaspora.
Organization and imagination are key at this moment in America. I’m asking African American leadership, young and old, to look at African American communications infrastructure from the view of “the community good.”
The current political environment demands Black folks reorganize communications infrastructure with imagination and organization.
Freedom Rides 2.0 will reconnect African American communities throughout the south.
Freedom Rides 2.0 voter registration and education programs in the African American south is an action needed to respond to voter suppression.
To my brilliant, intelligent, enlightened, and caring African Americans, who love her youth, this is the time for the African American gift of consciousness, combined with the technological ocean of information available to create a future for our children. Knowledge is the key.
Young birds whose wings are clipped
never know they can fly
Help our children fly