For February 2016 I will stick to a Black media diet: Black books, Black blogs, Black magazines, Black music, Black films, Black television, Black news outlets, Black Twitter, etc. So, for example, I will not be watching the Oscars. Or reading The Economist. And so on.
My media diet for January 2016 (based on sources listed for posts):
- 60% White
- 23% Black
- 13% Native
- 3% Asian
- 0% Other
I will count as Black anything that seems to be by or for people from Africa and the Diaspora. So, for example, Melissa Harris-Perry will count, even though she is on White-owned MSNBC. The Root counts even though, for all I know, the editor-in-chief is White. Ancient Egyptians count. So does Nollywood and Augustine. So does any Twitter or Tumblr account with a Black avatar or Black-oriented content. I will not unfollow anyone who seems to be non-Black, just skip over their posts and tweets for now.
Links: I can follow links that go to or from Black content, but not any between non-Black content. I can use Google, but only to find Black content. I can use the Wikipedia, but only those parts written in a language native to Africa, like Swahili or Wolof.
Research for posts: I will be limited to some 20% of my books and an even smaller share of the Internet. For Black Women’s History Month, though, that should not be a big deal since most of my sources would have been Black anyway.
Will this narrow my range of media? Blacks, after all, are only 13% of the US. But even to think of it that way buys into the very White gaze I want to avoid. Over half of my current media diet comes from Whites in the US and Britain – from less than 4% of the world! Africa and the Diaspora are nearly five times that – and its media is way less likely to under-represent and mis-represent Black people.
The top ten languages of Africa and the Diaspora, in rough numbers:
- English: 240 million speakers as a first or second language
- Arabic: 170m
- Portuguese: 150m
- French: 120m
- Swahili: 100m
- Hausa: 50m
- Spanish: 30m
- Yoruba: 28m
- Oromo: 34m
- Amharic: 32m
Only the last two I cannot read or get a quick, rough translation of.
Just on the strength of English alone, though, it is almost the size of White America and White Britain put together (250m).
Exceptions: All that said, I will allow the following exceptions to my Black media diet:
- The Bible,
- The Oxford dictionary,
- “The X-Files” (2016),
- anything required for work (computer stuff), and
- anything directly having to do with this blog (comments, links people give me, guest posts, fact checking, etc).
In March I will write about my experiences. Sooner, if I do not last that long. I will then consider what changes I should make to my media diet going forward.
If you have any Black or African media you want to recommend, especially news outlets and YouTube channels, please let me know in the comments below.
– Abagond, 2016.
- The Vast Talking Machine
- media diet
- media guides
- medium and media
- I put up my books – geographically
- demographically weighted world history
- Books I would take to a desert island
- The Economist