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From the Publisher"[B]arber provides over two dozen biographical essays on prominent Black politicians, computer scientists, educators, and entrpreneurs who have in one way or another contributed to the development of computer technology and its applications in American society….The topic of information technology and the African American community is important, especially as the digital divide becomes a more and more significant challenge for economically stressed areas of our cities and countryside. Barber's The Black Digital Elite will serve as a valuable summary of the part African Americans have played so far in the information revolution."
"[B]arber profiles twenty-six African Americans who have made significant contributions to the advancement of technology over the past four decades. From inventors to CEOs, educators to policy-makers, the compilation of perhaps unfamiliar names and faces adds richness to the history of technological innovation. Beyond the biography, each profile includes an insightful discussion about the digital divide, its persistence and how African Americans can create new paradigms for themselves in order to bridge the gap."
"Despite talk of a digital divide along lines of race and class, media analyst Barber asserts that African Americans have been actively involved in the development and progress of information technology. He offers profiles of 26 black Americans who have made significant contributions to the advancement of technology….Barber highlights black scientists, policy makers, educators, and entrepreneurs who have advanced technological development in the U.S. Barber also illustrates how many of those he profiles are using information technology to address social issues."
"[S]hows that African Americans are far from just being passive consumers and access-starved bystanders to the construction of the Information Superhighway and now, the data-sphere….This book is one-of-a-kind in important ways. After reading this book, give it to the nearest gamers and/or constantly IMing teens right away. It'll immediately broaden their horizons with ideas—perhaps on what to do with those gadgets."
Black Issues Book Review
"Barber provides profiles of 26 African Americans who are leaders in the information industry, including computer scientists, policymakers, educators, entrepreneurs, mathematicians, analysts, developers, activists, and businesspeople. He describes the contributions and lives of innovators such as Roy L. Clay, Sr., Clarence (Skip) Ellis, Ronald H. Brown, Congressman Bobby L. Rush, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Dhyana Ziegler, Robert L. Johnson, and Kenn Turner."
Reference & Research Book News
"[T]his book opens the window to the leadership role of African Americans in the digital arena. Barber offers a way to examine the relationship between African Americans and the Information Revolution. He also reminds his readers that considering the internet a white technology ignores the contributions and complexities in African Americans' relationship to the new digital media."
The Journal of African American History