Black Enterprise: Baratunde on Baratunde By The Snob
Last week for Black Enterprise Magazine Online I interviewed comedian, Jack & Jill Politics blogger and The Onion’s Digital Director Baratunde Thurston about his love for technology and BLACKNESS. Yes, blackness. As in, his new book “How to Be Black.” We also talked, at lenght, about how more black people need to become entrepernueral in the online space, rather than simply users of it.
From Black Enterprise:
Thurston: Black people, as much as we’ve been deprived, we’re pretty creative, entrepreneurial folks. We should be set up to do more in the (digital) space. But no one’s painting that picture that coding is cool. That entrepreneurial is sexy. Digital start-up entrepreneurship is not hot as it could and as it should be. There’s an attitude and certain presumptuousness that accompanies the mindset of people who build tech businesses. An arrogance of, “Yeah, I can do that. I’m going to build a tech company.” Not in a negative way, but the delusion has to be strong that I’m going to create Foursquare so people can check in and become king of the burger joint.
Clearly we have an affinity for gadgetry. We were using pagers before anyone knew pagers were necessary. We’ve been promoting technology and using technology for a really long time. It’s time for us to join, in full force, that producer class. When black people create stuff it’s amazing. We created jazz. What’s that going to look like in tech and software and web experience? It’s not just about “oh, this would be great for black people. Oh, we got to hook black people up and make more black coders.” It’s about the world and the mark of relevance in the world is that people know how to build things.
If you’re black and reading this and thinking of being entrepreneurial, you have to be digital.