Blogging while brown

July 29, 2008

While visiting the Jack & Jill Politics blog I read about the Blogging While Brown (BWB) conference that was held in Atlanta this weekend.

The following paragraph describes the origin and purpose of the BWB conference.  From BWB official website:

Whether it’s fighting injustice , debating racism in the media, serving as a new technology underground railroad of information or celebrating our best and brightest, bloggers of color are a vital and viable part of the blogosphere who aren’t afraid to voice their opinions on a number of subjects. Their readers are willing to mobilize for change. Bloggers of color are at an inflection point in the continued development of the blogosphere.
To that end, the Blogging While Brown Conference was born. Blogging While Brown is the first international conference for bloggers of color. For the first time this new generation of activists, entrepreneurs and new media content creators will step out from behind their keyboards and meet in person.

Needless to say I wasn’t invited nor aware of the BWB conference, before today.  Perhaps because I’m not among the “best and brightest” of bloggers of color?  I find it interesting that the BWB conference occurred the same weekend as the UNITY ’08.  In the future it would be nice to see BWB gain more clout and work with larger groups of journalists like NABJ or NAHJ.  Though it’s possible the BWB doesn’t see itself as affiliated with the standard world of old media?

The founder of BWB has several videos from the conference posted on her blog. I recommend the one from the bloggers who run Black Web 2.0.  Interestingly enough, Web 2.0 works the same way for black people as it does for others…shhhhh…don’t tell anyone.

I did find it interesting that many of the BWB participants were heavy users of Twitter (if you’re wondering “what the heck is Twitter?” click here).  I enjoy Twitter too, though my feeds are closed to the public.

Well next year there will be another Blogging While Brown conference.  If there’s not a scheduling conflict maybe I’ll attend.  I see myself as a blogger who happens to be brown.  Part of the concept of Naked Conversations is that a person can blog anonymously and say whatever they want because “no one wrote the official blogging rule book” it seems that BWB caters to potential weblebrities like those listed here, here, or here.  The fact none of the web celebrities are brown is a good reason to continue the BWB conference.

Me, I’m just a regular guy blogging for bloggings sake.  What about you?

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Black Officers are becoming scarce

July 23, 2008
Lt.Gen Lloyd Austin welcomes Sen. Barack Obama to Iraq

Lt.Gen Lloyd Austin welcomes Sen. Barack Obama to Iraq

A few friends sent me links today about the shortage of Black officers in the military.

LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press Writer published a story (7/23/08) titled “After 60 years, black officers are rare

A few months ago I wrote an Op-Ed that addressed the current recruiting woes; as a means to bring about conversations that will lead young people to consider military service.

The first version (More than ever, black men should consider military service) appeared in the Petersburg Progress-Index here in December 2007.

I updated it (Combating the Trends: Military Service Can Alleviate What Ails Black America) and it ran in the Richmond Times-Dispatch here on 1/27/08.

An excerpt from my RTD OpEd…

Additionally, I’m concerned by the rapid decline in black enlistment rates (20 percent in 2001 to about 12 percent today; officer commissions are down to 8 percent). This will result in a less diverse senior leadership in about 20 years, and fewer families benefiting from Army service.

This week I’m attending the UNITY ’08 conference of journalists in Chicago. I certainly hope to find great earned media opportunities so we can buck the current trend on enlistment and officer commissionings. One of the solutions for retention and mentoring of officers is The Rocks, Inc. Great generals like Colin Powell, Julius Becton, Johnnie Wilson, and others have benefited from the two-way mentorship opportunities in the Rocks.

What do you think about the news reports? Were you aware that the #2 General in Iraq is African-American?  Does is matter if we have a diverse force?

The military truly values diversity and all of us as Americans have a stake in this fight. I believe education of the general public is a great start to increasing our accessions. Let’s go!

ADVISORY: I’m NOT a military recruiter…but will put you in touch with one if you want

UPDATE1:  Here’s an article from a DoD source that paints a positive picture of opportunties for minorities in the military.