ONN – AfroTech 2019: Morgan DeBaun Reminds Oakland It’s Cool To Be Black In Tech
A thought about AfroTech in Oakland as I watch the enormous celebration of blacks in tech in my town from 3,000 miles away. I have to thank AfroTech and Blavity Founder Morgan De Baun for putting on AfroTech in the heart of Downtown Oakland. Oakland needs to see this: something that many Oaklanders really haven’t wanted to see: blacks in tech.
As much as residents like me have been in tech, the rest of Oakland acts like it doesn’t want to see us. Sadly, and at the same time, thankfully, it took a complete outsider to come in to Oakland, and turn it’s collective head to pay attention to us. As AfroTech meets, a group of long-time black Oakland residents that became homeless because of the wave of illegal evictions, were forced out of their camp on Wood Street in Oakland.
So, if you’re wondering what happened to the once-great and large population of us in Oakland, the sad fact is that some have passed on, others moved out to the South and Midwest, still others moved out to San Francisco Bay Area suburbs, some like myself remained, and others, sadly, became homeless. There are too many stories that frame what i call the new institutional racism. But all of that can be lessened by a dramatic event.
That’s AfroTech. As much as the white mainstream media and the white tech media may ignore AfroTech, I’m going to fill in the blanks. After all, that’s what it’s all about: blacks making our own systems and networks and events that change the World – and in this case, Oakland. Rock on!
Note from Oakland News Now Technical: this video-blog post shows the full and live operation of the latest updated version of an experimental Zennie62Media mobile media video-blogging system network that was launched June 2018. This is a major part of Zennie62Media’s new and innovative approach to the production of news media. The uploaded video is from a vlogger with the Zennie62 on YouTube Partner Channel, then uploaded to and formatted automatically at the Oakland News Now site and Zennie62-owned social media pages. The overall objective is smartphone-enabled, real-time, on the scene reporting of news, interviews, observations, and happenings anywhere in the World and within seconds and not hours. Now, news is reported with a smartphone: no heavy and expensive cameras or even a laptop are necessary. The secondary objective is faster, and very inexpensive media production and distribution. We have found there is a disconnect between post length and time to product and revenue generated. With this, the problem is far less, though by no means solved. Zennie62Media is constantly working to improve the system network coding and seeks interested content and media technology partners.