Blogging While Blackby Shawn P. Williams
Blogging While Black follows the journey of one blogger and one website from relative obscurity to national prominence. In 2006, Shawn P. Williams launched the highly acclaimed and nationally recognized DallasSouthBlog.com also known as Dallas South. The website has been featured on NBC Nightly News and CNN, as well as NPR, BBC, Ebony magazine, The Toronto Star and many other national outlets.
Before Google, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube became household names, blogs were used by African-Americans as a vehicle to combat negative images and stereotypes portrayed in the mainstream media. Black Bloggers finally found a way to act upon years of frustrations with mainstream media outlets
Blogging While Black is a virtual history lesson which chronicles a time that Williams refers to as The Golden Era of African-American online activism. The book uses emails, blog posts, comments, letters and live chats to thrust readers back to a time just before the explosion of social media and mobile devices. Williams documents how he was able to carve out his own niche in the expanse of the blogosphere by experimenting with technology, networking strategically, and maximizing his God given talents as a writer.
Blogging While Black looks back at some of the most significant moments in the online civil rights movement that took place between 2006 and 2008. African-American blogs were influential in bringing attention to the plight of a teenaged girl in Paris, Texas and a group of young men in Louisiana who eventually became known as The Jena Six. The author provides unique insight in these cases as a native of Paris and by having attended the September 2007 rally in Jena.
Black bloggers were also instrumental in helping to elect President Barack Obama. During the Democratic Primary in 2008, Dallas South was a trusted source for election coverage. Later that year Dallas South was one of a select number of blogs nationwide awarded credentials for the Democratic National Convention. Blogging While Black also takes a deeper look at the Denver Convention and how bloggers enjoyed better access than many member of the mainstream media.
At the end of each chapter, the author provides tips to those aspiring to use social media tools to make their own mark through the internet. He also looks at "breakthough bloggers" who have turned their online prominence into offline success.
About the Author
Shawn P. Williams is a graduate of Texas A&M University and spent eleven year in computer and pharmaceutical sales before organizing DallasSouthNews.org in August 2009. Dallas South News is a nonprofit news organization that empowers and informs underserved communities.
In 2010, the Austin American-Statesman recognized Williams with a Texas Social Media Award as one of the state's Top 25 users of social media. He is a guest columnist for The Dallas Morning News and has written articles for D Magazine, The North Dallas Gazette and The Paris News. He also provides monthly commentary for WFAA Channel 8's Inside Texas Politics and weekly news updates for Reporters Roundtable with Cheryl Smith on Soul 73 KKDA. In 2011, Shawn became a member of the National Advisory Board for the Poynter Institute of Media Studies in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Shawn and his wife Tamela are raising their two children Isaiah and Maliyah in Dallas, Texas.
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I am not black, but I am from Paris, Texas, so I am prejudiced in favor of Shawn Williams although I have never met him. At 78, I have had a lot of questions about why anyone would blog at all, or how. He did a good job of addressing both motivation and implementation. He also gave us a great piece of history. I had no idea that black bloggers helped put Obama in the White House. It was exciting to read about how they met each other and put together quite a network. It brought back all the excitement of the Civil Rights movement in the late 1950s. I was delighted at Obama's election, and I'm a Republican. Mr. Williams also maintains objectivity in his reporting. He tells you his point of view up front, then reports the facts objectively. He also includes his personal story which gives warmth and reality. And he includes blogs of the time as a way of unfolding the story.