Black Blogging Beyond Obama was a provocative session that I attended on Saturday at Netroots Nation. Brandon Q. White of The Super Spade was the moderator, with panelists Gina McCauley (of What About Our Daughters? and the organizer of this upcoming weekend's Blogging While Brown conference), Leutisha Stills (Jack & Jill Politics, and the Black Agenda Report), and Andre Banks from Color of Change. There was a serious throw down on the impotence of establishment black orgs (e.g., the NAACP's cluelessness and antipathy toward the blogosphere), and the meltdown of Jesse Jackson, who is clear that he's not ready to turn over the reins of the civil rights leadership to the next generation.
Donna Edwards, who also spoke at Netroots Nation later that evening, was also in the audience, and she gave props to the role of the blogosphere in the unseating of fossil Al Wynn in Maryland, and her role as a new member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
The video of the panel is below the fold. Brandon found me in the hall prior to the panel and we refined the list of questions he planned to pose to the panelists; and he hit some really hot topics; I tossed in a few ideas as well. As we move past the election, should Barack Obama find himself at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, there will be several issues on the table. The questions:
1. What is the difference between Black online activists and Black bloggers?
2. What do Black bloggers talk about when they are not talking about Obama?
3. How do you see the ascendancy of online activism impacting the traditional civil rights infrastructure?
4. Who blogs locally? (show of hands - not many, btw-Pam) More often than not, the hardest place to organize is where you live. What is your relationship with offline activists in your local community and what should we do to get to the point where we can have local versions of Jena 6 and Fox/CBC debate?
5. How can/should Black online activists going to fill the current and future void of Black leadership?
6. We need more Black bloggers, (burnout) who in this room has encouraged or developed a new Black blogger?
7. How do you envision Black bloggers holding Obama accountable should he be elected?
8. Are Black bloggers the flavor of the month and what is our obligation to the community once we have a known voice?
9. There has been much talk about Obama's campaign and possible election as a sign of America's transcending race. What infrastructure and/or strategies need to be in place to continue to raise the issues relevant to the Black community and hold Obama accountable should he be elected?
Take a look at what folks had to say: