During February 2016, I kept to a Black media diet: Black books, Black blogs, Black television, Black websites, etc, where “Black” means Africa and the Diaspora. It was both good and bad:
- I discovered new films, websites and books that I likely would not have known about anytime soon. In addition to recommendations from commenters (thank you!), I discovered “Belle”, for example, Blackpast.org, the #JusticeForFlint concert (Janelle Monae was great) and that I had my sister’s copy of “The Norton Anthology of African American Literature” (2004).
- I did more reading – partly because I watched less junk on YouTube and television (particularly cable news), partly because it made it easier to settle on what books to read. It was kind of like living on a desert island.
- I discovered that Web translation is much further along than I thought, not only in quality but in the number of languages covered (any African language with at least 30 million speakers).
- I discovered that I did not have to drown in White content, that I could use Tumblr, YouTube, Twitter and Blogger to prevent it.
- It limited my research for posts, even though I had allowed for fact checking. This came out most clearly when I did a post on Peter Liang, a Chinese American New York police officer found guilty of manslaughter. Since I was limited to Black media, I mainly just got one side of the story.
- It limited the sort of posts I could do. For example, I put off doing posts on Irish slaves, Ted Cruz, Romanization, Westernization, Cleon, Nostratic, Munsee, and the fall of Baghdad to the Mongols and the Americans. (Of course, some readers might see that as a good thing!)
- It made it harder to find good images for posts. Images from the Black Web tend to be smaller than the ones I use – and offer less of a choice.
- I did less social viewing (watching film and television with friends and family). Even so, this was where I wound up breaking my diet, by watching “American Idol” and “Better Call Saul”.
- The White US press is terrible, something that became even clearer to me once I had some distance from it. If Donald Trump becomes president, it will be partly to blame.
- Black US media is dependent on White US media. It fills in some of the holes left by White media, but does not stand on its own. It is meant mainly as a dietary supplement to a White media diet. And, with the Whitening of MSNBC, there is less of it.
- The African and Afro-Caribbean Web in English is shockingly thin. The Black part of the Web in English seems to be mainly from the US.
What I most missed: Democracy Now! and The Economist.
For March 2016 I will continue to stick to my Black media diet, but with these changes:
- No limits on research for posts.
- Allow social viewing.
- Add Democracy Now! as a dietary supplement.
– Abagond, 2016.
- media diet
- My Black Media Month
- Peter Liang
- Africans in the Greek and Roman world
- YouTube: Democracy Now!