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We. Be. Cool: Black Twitter, Mobile Usage & Design

This panel will be an interdisciplinary discussion, building upon Dr. Goddess's previous, solo presentation on “The Bombastic Brilliance of Black Twitter,” to explore Black mobile usage and Black design, one of the most underrepresented areas of Blacks in technology. Since 2009, African Americans have been the most active users of the mobile internet, with the fastest growth and a purchasing power of $1.1 trillion by 2015. Twitter serendipitously designed a platform that delighted Black users; but if it were a purposefully designed Black social network, what other features would it have that serve its unique Black cultural perspectives? More importantly, since design is not a culturally neutral process, how might we design products and services with African Americans as the intended end users and filtered through a browner lens? Hear what an academic, mobile entrepreneur and designer have to share on how Black innovation twists and bends technological mediums to suit our own needs.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. Now that we understand the basic concept of "Black Twitter," how do we go further in our analysis to understand the changes made in this social network and how its understanding of itself has, once again, changed mainstream media and intercultural understanding?
  2. Why are Black Americans more open to mobile technology and advertising than their white peers; and how can we capitalize on this disproportionate usage?
  3. What are African Americans doing in mobile technology and how do we best process the entrepreneurs and projects occurring in this technological medium?
  4. What is the status of Black designers in the country? Why is there little to no discussion of their role in the technological realm? What types of projects are Black designers working on and what have they produced? What is being done to better represent Black design in mainstream American tech speak?
  5. How should we process Black design, Black mobile usage and the ways in which Black people use social networks like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, to provide a more composite understanding of all levels of technological engagement?



Kimberly "Dr. Goddess" Ellis, Scholar and Entrepreneur, Dr. Goddess Arts, Education and Management

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