African Americans; Technology and Social Media | Business

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African Americans; Technology and Social Media
African Americans; Technology and Social Media

African Americans; Technology and Social Media
by Sean Jackson (FAMU) and William Jackson, M.Ed. (Edward Waters College)

The holiday season shows the passion African Americans have for
technology. Cyber Monday was an economic boom for companies
offering online discounts and provide devices that traditional stores
did not have in stock. According to CNN Cyber Monday was the highest
grossing online shopping day in U.S. history, spending reached
$1.25 billion. An increase over 20% from 2010 and expected to
grow even further with the availability of secured online security,
Apps that allow for shopping directed at a person’s interests and
retailers marketing based on culture, race, gender and age. 
African Americans projected economic contribution was as high
as 30% in online buying and the understanding that Black buying
power is expected to reach $1.1 trillion by 2015, according to State
of the African-American Consumer Report.

The evidence of the Digital Divide for African Americans is further
declining with Smart Phones and Tablets leading the way for providing
unprecedented access to online content. Apps (small computer applications)
have grown tremendously offering additional connectivity using Web 2.0
and Web 3.0 protocols (tools). Even though traditional media does not
admit it, African Americas are still the highest purchasers of Smart Phones.

The question(s) where/when/will and how Blacks will benefit?
Blacks are consumers of these resources, but to build wealth Blacks
need to start being developers of digital tools. Once again Blacks are
taking capital or monies out of their communities and putting it someplace

According to Nielson reports (
a. African-Americans use more than double the amount of mobile phone
voice minutes compared to Whites
b. African-Americans send/receive on average 907 text messages
c. 33% of all African-Americans own a Smart Phone
These statistics are growing as tweens and teens receive phones this holiday
season and mobile phone providers are offering specials and low rates for
multi-phone purchases and specials on data bundles.

Technology has opened up the capability for virtual traveling, ecommerce,
political and religious exchanges and socializing on a global scale, literally.
No longer are African Americans restricted or confined from digital access
and there is a growing digital social media presence besides Facebook.
African Americans have a presence on Facebook, Google +, Nings, Youtube,
Blog Talk Radio and Tweeting While Black has grown. Entrepreneurialism
such as Tiffany Duhart’s eblast and Facebook
presence have seen great growth
because of the information provided on community events.
Social media sites for Blacks:,,,, and have grown for Black Bloggers.

Caution with Employment
Caution still should be used potential and current employers are
viewing social networking activities and content. African Americans
should be aware that their content and information may be scrutinized
by employers and potential employers before they are interviewed for
jobs and entrance into higher education.
Content is creating a f irst impression and first impressions are always
powerful; African Americans should use this knowledge to be empowered
about what their social presence is saying about them. Social content c
an be used as a resume to highlight knowledge of and proficiency with
technology, the level of professionalism you display with technology and
networking connectivity to the business world. Networking in sites such
as LinkedIn can display your association with businesses this can be
beneficial by opening doors and create collaborations.

Influence of African Americans
African Americans make technology fun and exciting, just look at Facebook
and Twitter entries. Tiffany Duhart ( tweeted
(Why Do Blacks Make Technology Popular?) take a look for yourself
( The use and
sometimes misuse of technology is representative of ingenuity and
creativity. An African American developed the concept of cell phones.
Online information suggests that Jesse Eugene Russell, an African-American
inventor helped create the technology of cell phones. Mr. Russell trained as
an electrical engineer at Tennessee State University, recognized globally as
a thought-leader, technology expert and innovator of wireless communications.
An American legend, in 1995 Russell was inducted into the National Academy
of Engineering for “pioneering work in digital cellular communications
technology.” This is information youth need to know to continue to inspire their
influence in STEM Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Data and Statistics
Nielsen data shows that during July 2011 23.9 million active African-American
Internet users and African-Americans are 30% likely to access online content.
I can attest to this fact watching my fiancée Cheryl visit JCPenney, Shoefab, and
other fashion sites getting the best of ecommerce and establishing a catering
business with her sister Sister2Sister Catering
( Since their web presence their business
has grown by 20% and receiving catering orders throughout Jacksonville, Florida.

As parents my fiancée and I our sons respectively find great deals online through
Ebay, Amazon, Best Buys and other sites looking for electronics and clothes.
My daughter is a true 21st century teen at 15 yrs, connected to her friends and
family through Facebook and using Apps to video chat and enjoy music. On a
serious note as a divorced father I keep in contact with my children, being their
Friend on Facebook, through Twitter, Texting and Skypeing. Divorced or parents
in the military or who travel for business find the Internet valuable for communication.

Digital Age of the 21st Century
The age of digital information is an age of moving information with the “Speed of
Thought” Bill Gates; Business @ the Speed of Thought and George Andersen; Wikipedia:
A WikiFocus Book , both books should be read or at least get the DVD used to learn
about the evolution and application of digital content for business and education.
In the book “Business At The Speed of Thought” (Bill Gates); Gates discusses that
the life blood of business and networking is information. As an instructor at Edward
Waters College (Educational Technology) I try to instill in my students the use of
technology allows people to grow and expand into learning opportunities, new careers
and educational growth. Social networks, IT (information technology), content creation,
SoLoMo (Social Local Mobile) digital access and Blogging creates business and
social resources where virtual partnerships develop; potentially enhancing communication,
collaboration and commerce.

A quote by William Clinton addresses the connection of education and economics,
“In today's knowledge-based economy, what you earn depends on what you learn.
Jobs in the information technology sector, for example, pay 85 percent more than
the private sector average”.

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