What To Do In The “AfroSphere?

Field is celebrating his one year anniversary as a blogger. He mused how black conversatives have their own network thang together, but apparently, black progressives don’t. This is important.

We are the ones who will vision the future. Conservatives, by definition, are reformist, they want to preserve the system/status quo. They want their lil negro cut of the pie, even if it is arsenic for the rest of us and the Planet.

How can we use our brains and voices to create what is wholly absent: a black progressive movement?

I know I can complain and point out racism’s finer points fairly well; where is that getting us and me? Is our race in crisis or what? Has the prison-industrial complex collapsed and I missed it? The plantation in 2007 is in the prisonyard – ya’ll realize that prisons are doing more business on the inside than Eli Whitney!

Its like the prison guard in Slam: “They are wiping out our race…and you’re sitting around here playing these silly-ass games.”

The ‘AfroSphere’ (Asabagna’s invention) must become an Afro-Spear, carving a path for our people into this 21st Century

Black Progressive Blogger Organizing Conference anyone?

28 Responses to “What To Do In The “AfroSphere?”

  1. now that’s a tough one, free. the conservatives (Black and white) have a focal point, a northstar, if you will. but what do the Black progressives have to point to?

    do we address the plantationization of the US prison system? or do we look at a judicial system that has lifted its veil of blindless long ago? do we address the public school systems that have consistently failed our communities over the past 40 years? or do we address the failings of the university systems to diversify their student populations? do we look at the continued disenfranchisement of Black votes through judicial and legislative means (remember how W got in the white house in 2000)? or do we concentrate on why so many Blacks don’t vote, anyway? do we look at how every disease or malady that affects Blacks, always affects Blacks worse than the general population (prostate cancer, hiv/aids, cardiovascular issues, diabetes, etc.)? or do we look at a public health system that is underfunded and ill-equipped to keep our people from harm? do we address all of these ill-conceived lotteries (i.e. regressive taxes on the poor) that take Black folk money to pay for rich white folk to send their kids to almost all-white public universities? or do we encourage Blacks to stop participating in these lotteries?

    do we have to support hillary because of bill? or should we support barack… because of bill? or do we dig up one of our retread baptist preachers and have him/her line his/her pockets with our poor folks hard earned money? or should we be looking elsewhere for our country’s leadership?

    great question, free. i’d love to see some viable answers.

  2. Afro-Spear! I LIKE IT!!!!

  3. I thought you’d like that, Asa:))

    Fantastic fucking questions, Plez. I need to think hard on those.

  4. FS, like that old J5 song says: “Just call my name, and I’ll be there”. I am speaking of that black progressive conference of course. I think the time has come to start thinking about such a meeting of the minds.

    I was reading the paper this morning and saw where the CBC has agreed to co-host the Democratic debates with the FAKE NEWS NETWORK, a racist outfit, who could care less about black folks and our causes. Yet, these ignorant ass mother f….(don’t even get me started) has decided to make a deal with the devil.

    This is the type of shady sh** that our so called leaders are pulling on us on a daily basis.

    So I agree, we need to do something, and I for one am starting to think about how we can make this thing happen.

  5. Field, I’m not surprised the CBC made that move, which confirms their fakeness when it comes to be thought-leaders. They in the Big House now.

    Let’s put our heads together on this, along with Asa, Aulelia and some of the other black crew. It may be that this needs to be a diasporic-wide conversation.

    What say you good peoples?

  6. Lubangakene, we are starting to think alike. I don’t know if this is a good or bad thing…LOL!!! Maybe it’s both…. good for “us”, bad for “them”! LOL!

    Your comment “that this needs to be a diasporic wide conversation” was what I was going to suggest (maybe not in exactly in the same words), and I was going to specifically mention Aulelia’s participation too.

    I have always had an idea in the back of my mind that a number of us should create a diasporic-wide think tank (via a blog page), to discuss issues, exchange ideas, create strategies, so we can find and implement concrete and viable solutions to tackle the areas of concern related to those of us of African descent. Plez brings up some very good questions to deal with (and there are many, many more), that transcend just the African-American experience. It can relate to me here in Canada and Aulelia in Europe and whoever else in some other part of the world dealing with these and other issues, from an Afrocentric perspective. From what I can see, African/Black people all over the world are catching “Hell!”. I am not sure of how the dynamics of this would work but we could take the steps to come to an agreement and make it happen.

    Let me interject a cause for concern that I have though. I am wary of employing such definitions as “conservative” and “progressive” as you well know, especially when it comes to those of us of African descent. There are those of us who “color” ourselves into those boundaries…. trying to put a Black face on a white body…. to our own detriment! Please don’t get me wrong, I know that this is NOT what Field or you are proposing. However, I want to suggest that regardless of one’s politics, religion, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, ideology, etc… if you are “down”, committed to the “progress” of our community, have something positive to contribute and most importantly: you are of African descent… then you should be welcome to participate in the “think tank”. We are a community of diverse ideas and experiences. Unlike white/eurocentric society, we should encourage our variety of thought, beliefs and voices, rather than have an “us” versus “them”, polarizing attitude. Then the best of us and our ideas can be utilized.

    My contribution to the ideas expressed so far.


    btw… I am so feeling Afro-Spear! lol! Could be the name of the “think tank”? lol!

  7. I can’t disagree, homie, at all. And really, any conservative who is open to examining these issues is alright with me. Honestly, I don’t think must of us colored folk look at these terms as quite the straitjacket that our lighter brethren do. Those who are about our global problem should begin.

    To make this happen: “(a) diasporic-wide think tank (via a blog page), to discuss issues, exchange ideas, create strategies, so we can find and implement concrete and viable solutions to tackle the areas of concern related to those of us of African descent…”

    shouldn’t be too difficult. How should we proceed?

  8. For starters, how about a list of topics to address or try and deal with? Obviously it isn’t going to (and probably can’t) include everything at once.

  9. We can start by e-mailing each other with our ideas. I love the thought of an organized movement around black progressive bloggers. (I don’t think there is any)

    We might look to the folks over at Af.American Pundit to help us organize,as their blog, along with negrophile, is a sort of jumping off point, and directory for all the black blogs on the web.

    FS, I love the idea of a conference and think tank via a blog page etc.. Let’s think about this and make it happen my brothers.

    (my e-mail address is:fnblg@yahoo.com)

  10. We can start by e-mailing each other with our ideas. I love the thought of an organized movement around black progressive bloggers. (I don’t think there is any)

    Just sayin’, there’s more than one shot being taken at this. Maybe we can work out something between us.

  11. […] talking about how the black progressive blogosphere can be shaped into a blogo-spear. There is a good discussion going on over at Free Slave’s site and the Field Negro talks about it here and here(by the […]

  12. The problem that always surfaces in these efforts to get together is that some of the “main players” will want to push their agenda ahead of everything else. Once you get something like this going and it attracts some attention, there will be a concerted effort on the part of the mainstream to identify and co-opt the putative “leadership” of any functional Black organization. Black Prof has an interesting essay on the failure of Black leadership and the benefits of decentralized organizations. “Certainly, a loose group of individual “leaders” play a role in decentralized organizations. But they have little power themselves—there is no command-and-control. Instead, they are catalysts who inspire others to act through their example.”

    I would very much like to be one of those catalysts. I am not interested in being anyone’s leader. I think many of the bloggers I have run across in the AfroSphere (btw Francis L Holland has proffered “Blackosphere” as a unifying and defining appellation, but what’s in a name) would be very good catalysts for a decentralized movement.

    I also think we have a functioning Black Blogger community already. Just because they (meaning the mainstream) continue to ignore us doesn’t mean we do not exist. The Shaquanda Cotton case clearly demonstrates that we are here and we are capable. We are currently using this community to vet our ideas and philosophies, using a connectivity and transparancy that has never really been available to us before. That is extremely important because for all our self-avowed eloquence we are all still struggling to truly understand how we can best move towards solutions to the problems facing the global Afro-diaspora.

    Perhaps we could find some central site willing to act as a clearinghouse or directory for the Black bloggers who wish to participate. There is absolutely no need for titles like progressive or liberal. There is no need to predetermine what issues will be discussed as that would be decided by the community on the basis of interest. All issues will eventually need to be addressed, and the monitoring capabilities of blogging technology allow for a real time plebiscite to determine what’s next on the agenda.

    None of us knows how this will eventually play out. I will be happy to go forward with developing this idea with any of you, as you have all earned my respect and support.

  13. There are some great ideas being discussed here. One blog I read daily is African American (Black) Opinion. This blog pulls stories from across the Afro-Spear (I like this term! Asabagna you should buy the domain name if it’s up for grabs).

    Unity will make us stronger so instead of reinventing the wheel, it would be a great to start working with individuals/groups like P6, AAO/AAP Negrophile etc & build from there.

    Exodus Mentality mentioned a clearinghouse & that sounds also like a good start IMHO.

    Another approach that I think would be excellent is a content management system (joomla or mambo), which could foster a community & beyond.

    I am down for whatever & would love to participate anyway possible.

    A conference would be awesome!!! I know that we would have some hot session topics, which could be dangerous in a good way.

    As a blogger, I find it easy to sit up & talk shit about what needs to change so I make every effort to be involved in community based activities so I do not fall into becoming an armchair revolutionary.


  14. Please, a conference? Sign me the hell up!

  15. Sounds like you guys have some good ideas. Visit me at my Blog: http://www.bigloo.wordpress.com

    I’ll be linking to you guys.

  16. AfroSphere is working for me too!

    Hey folks I’ve enjoyed reading the conversation.
    I’m game to assist in any way to move this effort and planning forward. There is similar conversations on the Republic of T’s page: http://www.republicoft.com/2007/03/30/blogging-while-brown-part-iii/
    Dr. Lester Spence Page:
    Electronic Village page:http://electronicvillage.blogspot.com/2007/04/black-family-pledge.html
    Afro-Netizen: http://www.afro-netizen.com/2007/03/jesse_jackson_f.html

    and others.

    A couple of things to thing about:

    1. Establish a “AfroSphere”Steering Committee” of maybe 8-15 members that could recommend an organizational structure, (bylaws, committees, etc.) We need to ensure as much inclusion as possible.

    2. Put together a planning group or steering committee, of maybe 8-10 members who could work on pulling together a national “Afrosphere” conference and report back to the steering committee.

    3. Plan for a national “AfroSphere”conference, lets say for September or October 2007. Conferences during the summer are hard to pull off (vacation times).

    4. Set up a yahoo AfroSphere group.

    5. Set up regular evening conference calls so all of us can hear each other. (evenings is usually best for those who need to save on cell phone minutes) I use free conference call.com to begin the planning group, it’s always good to connect even through voices.

    Just some thoughts, any thoughts on your end? Can someone crab the right to AfroSphere today?

    Can we set up a conference call for later this week or weekend? What Day works for everyone?

    My email address is: AfricanAmericanPoliticalPundit@Gmail.com


  17. Thoughts (stated on my website in a bit more depth):

    1. Someone create a website that is nothing more than RSS feeds from black (defined however you want to define it) political websites.

    2. Revisit the idea of a “black Digg”.

    3. Hold a conference

    Our strength actually lies in our cell-like structure. We don’t necessarily need an organization–except for holding a conference. We don’t need “unity.” We’ve just got to make it so that people can QUICKLY see what everyone else is writing on, and quickly make judgments as to what subjects in this pool are valuable.

  18. Perhaps we could find some central site willing to act as a clearinghouse or directory for the Black bloggers who wish to participate. There is absolutely no need for titles like progressive or liberal. There is no need to predetermine what issues will be discussed as that would be decided by the community on the basis of interest. All issues will eventually need to be addressed, and the monitoring capabilities of blogging technology allow for a real time plebiscite to determine what’s next on the agenda.

    There’s this, which I just set up. The only trick is, you can’t join unless you’re invited. And all registered users get a number of invitations that I haven’t decided on yet.

    It’s invite only to keep out shitheads, but everything written will be publicly visible. It’s Drupal, set up as a forum rather than a blog so all members can start and participate in discussions. Each thread gets a front-page excerpt. Here’s the basic functionality that is installed already.

    My agenda, up front, is applying critical thought, finding what needs resolution. No dick warriors are needed.

    I want a working group, and I will set myself up a non-administration account to post with so I’m working on the same basis as everyone else…P6 gets sufficient traffic to get attention.

    What I need now, because I see myself as unusual enough to be unqualified to make the judgment, is to know what I’m missing.

  19. I am new to blogging, however, not new to the world of being Black. I love the idea of the Afro-Spear! I am down. I would that we OVERstand as this moves forward the UNITY doesn’t mean UNIFORMITY. I feel we should have no fear of outside influences possibly attempting to co-opt the leadership. Maybe we as a hole will be a leadership. Maybe create a Blogger Caucus in the true sense of the word.

  20. Have you heard Walter Mosley talk/write on black people withdrawing from the Dem party and all that (i think he may have put something in the Nation about it, too)? I recently heard him speaking on/updating his “Life out of Context” political mongraph and his latest idea was something around using the net to connect people around their top 5 political issues…hash them out…and build independently from there…something he’s building for 2008…

    that’s actually a horrible description, so don’t take my explanation but you and Field had me thinking about it in your latest blogs…

    anyway. keep writing, i love what you have to say.

  21. Count me in please 🙂

    This sounds so brilliant!

  22. well, what a fabulous idea – I’m very excited for y’all, and I can’t wait to read more posts and great ideas! Count on me for ally support via linking on my blog!

  23. P6, Great start!

    Nothing glares out as missing – at this point.

    Please send me an invite at: AfricanAmericanPoliticalPundit@gmail.com


  24. That’s done, AAPP.

  25. I have been thinking on this for a while now some of my thoughts have been to.

    Create a private blog on something like word press in order to work on the 5 to 10 most important things negatively affecting the black community.

    Get smart, creative and interested folks to point thier intellectual energy in the direction of common sense solutions to problems holding us down.

    Once we have come up with some concrete ideas then I think we should identify the resources needed to bring change, and start making plans that can be adopted and configured for use in local models all over america.

    Lastly lets strive for a higher form of debate, lets try create a model that will progress and evolve as needed and remain revolutionary.

    Let me in! Let me in!

  26. Afro-Spear. AfroSphere. BlackoSphere. I love them all!

    Excellent ideas about the clearinghouse, think tank and conference.

    I’m so glad I picked this week to start my blog. Count me in.


    I reference Walter Mosley’s article in The Nation in my post here: http://make-it-plain.blogspot.com/2007/03/black-power-and-congressional-black.html

  27. Dayum … this is the spirit that I was seeking when I created my blog earlier this year. I feel blessed to have found this thread. I’m down to support in any way possible. Just let me know what needs to be done.


  28. If any of us are in or around Atlanta GA on April 20-21 there is a Bring Black Back conference that might be a place for the AfroSpear gathering mentioned earlier in these comments.

    Just a thought…


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