This ain’t funny so don’t you dare laugh, but I think that Black thought has run out of ideas. And I’m not talking the rapper from the Roots crew. No, I’m talking the majority component of Black conversation starters and “influencers”. Yes, the Ebony’s and Essence’s and Clutch’s* and Madame Noires*, etc.
Basically, the places that Black folks congregate to discuss Black issues. VSB included though I’m going to give us a TOTALLY non-biased pass since we’re a two-man deep operation. But it seems like, actually, it IS like, there are four topics worthy of talking about in the pages of Blackness – relationships, race, pop culture, and self-empowerment.
I’ve perused all of the Black intelligentsia pages – and I realize thats probably a misnomer – and there’s very little to do with politics and health or anything that isn’t purely opinion based. This isn’t to say that I don’t think that Black folks don’t have opinions on politics or finances (Black Enterprise is one good source), but it does seem that we stay as far away as possible from those topics in some of the most popular sources for Black “material.”
Now, I’d be intentionally ignoring the elephant in the room if I didn’t point out that those sites are largely (actually totally) geared towards women and maybe the vast majority of women who might read those sites couldn’t give two f*cks with a soda on the side of a partridge in a pear tree about partisan politics, sequesters, or anything in the political realm that doesn’t include the words Michelle Obama.
It’s possible that I’m completely ignoring the impact that sites like The Root and Huff Post Black Voices have on the community at large. Either that or I only follow and pay attention to the wrong pubs, but it really does seem like no matter where I go I
see the same ho the exact same ideas and posts written different ways are presented. When I visit some of my more enjoyable mainstream (read white) sites, they’re chock full of all types of topics. I mean you can read posts about the role mice play in the World Cup. Or how electricity totally f*cks up the game for ladybugs in Santo Domingo. I’m not even saying that all of the things I read are good, interesting, or worthy of reading. But there are a slew or random but fresh ideas on lots of fresh and random topics.
Maybe its just that in the Blackosphere, there aren’t a lot of larger sites dedicated to news and thought in the same way that a Daily Beast or Huff Post or Slate can be. Even on sites like The Root, it seems like all the posts bottleneck right back into the racial component. Which isn’t wrong per se. There’s nothing wrong with that. And it’s important to have the facilitators of such conversations making sure that those angles are always pursued. But we still can’t seem to get past the Big Four.
Of course, there’s always the side of the argument that shows that I’m not even close to being accurate. That there are sites out there tackling all of the important issues of the day and adding new and insightful ideas to Internet and catalog of Black thought. Which is possible, but really, I don’t think that’s the case. I’m starting to think that for the most part we like to talk about those things because its one area where our opinion is all that counts and it doesn’t require being overly informed on any topic. And if you’re attempting to appeal to the most people at one time, then broad simple topics is the bread and butter to keep folks coming back. Even here at VSB, that argument can be made.
Maybe, Black folks online really only have a few things to talk about. Or maybe those of us online creating the conversations don’t think the audiences care about anything else. Or maybe OJ didn’t do it but did it at the same damn time.
I don’t really know.
But I do have to wonder, have we run out of things to talk about in the Blackosphere?
Talk to me.
-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka MR. I STILL NEED MY JOB aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRRRRLLL HE A 3