December 31, 2007

Villager's 2007 Year-In-Review

It has been a remarkable year for those of us in the afrosphere. The number of blogs included in the Black Blog Rankings (BBR) grew from 75 to over 600 in the course of a few months. We saw the creation of both the Afrosphere Bloggers Association and The AfroSpear.

Mainstream media become much more aware of our presence as evidenced by events in Jena LA, Paris TX and Atlanta GA. Many Black bloggers are regularly featured on weekly National Public Radio broadcasts. Heck, a Black blogger was recognized as one of the 25-most influential African Americans in the country by Essence magazine.

I encourage all villagers to check out the comprehensive 'Black blogging year-in-review' perspective provided by Yobachi earlier this month.

I was inspired by my sister (Kyra Hicks) to create two blogs in 2007. The Electronic Village (BBR #34) was brought to life in Jan 2007 and redesigned in Sep 2007. The BDPA Foundation Blog (BBR #342) came online in Aug 2007. Both blogs evolved during the course of the year. Generally, the mission for both blogs is to share information that will inform and uplift our readers about people of African descent. The BETF-Blog tasks itself with an added goal to raise funds for the education and technology programs of BDPA.

We track our popular posts throughout the year. However, it is tradition to reflect on the year just ended. As such, we share with you our list of the top ten posts for 2007:

  1. Black Blog Rankings - I got pissed when a blog listed the most influential bloggers in the world ... and not a single person of African descent made the list. I channeled my anger into the creation of the Black Blog Rankings. I publish updated rankings on the 1st day of each month. The inaugural publishing of the Top Ten Black Blogs took place in Sep 2007.
  2. Jena 6 - The saga of justice in Jena, LA is well-documented on my blog and elsewhere. Without doubt, the major reason that the Electronic Village rose into the top 5% of all Black blogs was our coverage of the Jena 6 situation. I didn't know it at the time, but our blog was one of a handful of Black blogs that helped fuel the fire resulting in over 20,000 marchers descending on Jena in early September. I summarized my thoughts originally in a post titled, Jena 6: An American Tragedy.
  3. HSCC Testimonials - Jena Six showed us high school kids going in a bad direction. I also wanted to show high schoolers going in the right direction. BETF wants to provide scholarships and funding for the high school computer competition (HSCC). As such, I share testimonials from HSCC students on my blog. One of the most powerful testimonials came from a youngster in Charlotte, NC.
  4. The AfroSpear - One of the biggest accomplishments for Black bloggers in 2007 was the creation of The AfroSpear. My post explaining the evolution of the AfroSpear is one that I hope to update in the future.
  5. Barack Obama - One of the first major stories in 2008 will be the results of the Iowa caucus. If Barack Obama wins that state caucus it will be one of the biggest stories around the world. For now, it is a dream and a prayer for many of us. My support for Barack Obama came after reading his first book. He is a remarkable brother ... and I truly believe that America needs him in the White House. I posted about Obama and his family a number of times during the year, however, I'm most proud of the fact that my blog provided live/streaming video of his appearance with Oprah Winfrey in South Carolina.
  6. Nooses - One of the negative outcomes of the Jena Six story was the rapid and visible rise in the number of hateful nooses placed in public places to intimidate African Americans. One of my most powerful posts this year gave a history of lynching in America.
  7. Tasered While Black - African American Political Pundit recently told me that our blog inspired him to create Tasered While Black (BBR #298). Back in March 2007, I shared my first post that talked about tasers.
  8. Only A Dad - My parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary earlier this year. My father succombed to cancer later in the year. I shared his photo with my blog readers in a post dedicated to my Dad.
  9. Hot Ghetto Mess - Another time when the power of the blogosphere showed itself to me was during the battle with Black Entertainment Television over a degrading television show. At one point, I saw direct action taken by a BET advertiser as a result of our blogging efforts. My inital post on this effort was simply entitled, BET is a Hot Ghetto Mess.
  10. Don Imus - I was surprised by the speed in which this story circulated through the blogosphere. I joined with many other Black bloggers when I wrote that Imus should be fired.
Anyhow, these are my thoughts on the 2007 year-in-review.

Now, I am interested to learn what you think. After all, you have been a blog reader for some period of time. What would you care to share about the past year. Were there other posts or themes that you thought should be in the Top Ten? Where do you want us to take this blog over the next year? What say u?


Woozie said...

Oh my lord, Hot Ghetto Mess. What the hell were they thinking?

Unknown said...

Woozie - I don't have a clue. I watched the pilot episode in order to find out who was advertising on the show. I recall thinking that it was much ado about a terrible show. The quality of the content was abysmal. Anyhow, BET hasn't been thinking straight for a number of years ... even before they were purchased by white-owned Viacom.

SheCodes said...


I just wanted to stop by to congratulate you on this blog, and also to thank you for the work that you are doing. I am a recent addition to the blogosphere, and that decision was the direct result of getting fired up by reading various black blogs like this one.

I asked a similar question to my readers, about what should be discussed in 2008 -- and the answers were as follows:

- Economic Opportunity. We are tired of the financial strain of every day life in America

- Health. Black women especially, are becoming very concerned about their medical situation, medical coverage, physical fitness, and overall wellness.

- Crime. Many of the people that I talk to online are very angry about the silence about black-on-black crime, especially those directed toward black women and girls. They feel that black women are being used as pawns in an agenda that does not benefit them in the end.

- Education. We not only want better quality, and better access, but we don't want to have to mortgage our futures to get it.

- The Media. Many of us are sick and tired of the pandering to black stereotypes, and the escalation of a racist climate that is the result of it. We want an end to it NOW.

Thank you for all that you are doing, villager. I am encouraged when I see people out there who really care about us. Happy New Year.

AAPP said...

Villager, Great post! Great year! More to come. Electronic Village has become a powerful blog in such short order. I can wait to see what you have in store for 2008 and beyond.

Best wishes,

Unknown said...

SheCodes - I responded to you offline already ... but, I wanted to publically wish you a joyous new year! I look forward to seeing the themes you laid out in your blog's posts over the coming weeks and months.

AAPP - I'm just trying to keep up with the other powerful blogs that comprise The AfroSpear! I wish you & yours a blessed new year!

Mz.Bria2U said...

blessings Villager,

piggybacking on Shecodes re: the media, better yet lack thereof in cases of black women who have disappeared.

From MSNBC's insolently aborting the interview surrounding the disappearance of Stepha Henry in lieu of Paris Hilton going to jail, to the admission of a MS police chief saying Latasha Norman's disappearance won't get media coverage due to her being black.

Have we come so far, but not really? African Americans have continually made great strides and contributions to society and yet we're still relegated to not even 2nd class, but 3rd class citizens!

If it pertains to black news and I want TRUTH...I must the blackosphere. Otherwise if I'm fortunate enough to view a sliver of a story in mainstream media, it's the homogenized, sanitized version.

We are still in essence, separate but equal- thus the importance of forming such coalitions as Afrospear, and Afrosphere Bloggers Assoc, telling others about the power of our online communities, and mentor those who don't know, but desire to.

The afrosphere/blackosphere's presence is increasingly felt online, but how can we make an impact interdependent of the internet?
Ivent (bria)

Unknown said...

Bria - First, we continue to solidify and grow the impact that we make on the Internet. We still have too many of our peeps (a) without a computer at home, (b) without Internet on those computers that they do have at home and (c) without training on how to use that computer to improve their situation. We need to continue to work on a daily basis to enhance the content of news on the Internet. I just published the Black Blog Rankings (BBR). The Top 10 Black Blogs are dominated by entertainment information. We need to ensure that our peeps are reading those blogs dealing in politics, economics and issues such as supporting Black women.

Other suggestions ... are to regain control of our Black publications. Do you subscribe to the Black newspaper in your city? I have a subscription. All of us should. It usually costs less than $25/year. That is a venue that we need to demand more of in the 2008 & beyond.

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Mz.Bria2U said...

Sounds good, Villager. We have a lot of work ahead of us...time to load up on Wheaties & Oatmeal! :)