Barlow and Blackness: A Preface

With every new class I take, regardless of subject or content matter, I always find a way to incorporate conversations about race into my contributions to the course. I spent such a long time trying to figure out myself and learning about African American history that it is hard for me not to be constantly thinking of how black Americans and other marginalized groups are effected in every aspect of society.

With Aaron Barlow’s The Rise of the Blogosphere, my thinking was no different. Barlow does an amazing job of relaying the history of “The Press,” providing decades worth of information. However, it is difficult not to notice that many, if not all, of the notable people within the text are white males with access to the resources necessary to continue the evolution of “The Press.” It is also difficult to ignore how money and xenophobia began working their way into how we give and receive our news.

Superficially, this book is the story of an evolution, a growth into a much bigger entity than ever imagined. However, I think it is so important to dig deeper, to think critically about what these events mean for people that aren’t highlighted in every chapter. Who’s missing? What voices aren’t we hearing? Why and how are people being kept from being fully aware and politically active? These are the types of question that should be applied to every topic in every course. There are human beings out there that are discriminated against and left behind. We should think more about them.

In my first post, Revolting without Replicating,  the freedom of the press is related to white feminism and the desperate need for intersectionality;  the need to include everyone in freedom instead of trying to take on the job of the oppressor.

In my second post, The Voice of *Some* People,  I mention that the “Voice of the People” has a gigantic piece missing from it – the intentionally muted people of color and women.

In my third post, Capitalism Killed the Newspaper Star, I talk about the very clear shift from the Romantic and heroic fight for the freedom of the press to the very cheap “we love gossip and Jerry Springer” journalism that was centered solely around ratings and profit.

In my fourth post, The Myth of Modern Day Terrorism,  I pretty much just rant about how ridiculous the idea of just not reporting international news because there’s “too much” is and how that mentality created many of the stereotypes and lies surrounding terrorism we have today.

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