My Quest To Teach

November 8, 2014

Building HBCU Intellect Through Blogging


Building HBCU Intellect Through Blogging
Part One
by William Jackson, Prof. Edward Waters College
Historically Black College and University

There are many writers, poets, storytellers and
intellectuals that create and share diverse content.
The content motivates, encourages, engages,
educates and shows that African Americans
have intellectual abilities that greatly surpass
entertainment and sports.
Education; the key to economic and political
growth allows for opportunities in the careers
that African Americans in the past have been
denied because they were not qualified,
certified and skilled enough.

The growth of the Internet has allowed millions
of youth, teens and young adults the chance
to express themselves through the diverse
writing talents that they have and can cultivate
within them. The events of the media are quick
to report breaking stories, but what comes
into question is the validity and accuracy of news
reports and the stereotypical language, linguistically
created coding and cultural references that
border on racism and typecasting.

The development of the Internet has allowed
content to be created on the spot to share accurate
and pinpoint information about rapidly changing
events. The recent Ferguson protests showed the
flexibility and at times unreliability of news reports,
but the “person on the spot” has a valid purpose
in showing what is happening real time through
Social Media tools that transmitted real time events.

Communities are portrayed in multiple ways that
either promote positive events or negativity in
actions and behaviors by it residents. This leads
to HBCU courses in Broadcast Journalism, Mass
Communications, and other courses of study that
dive into news events and content creation.
Sometimes the humanity of a story is not portrayed
when using Social Media to share events, the humanity
or personal side of a story should be included.

HBCU students that are studying areas of communication
must understand that their views and opinions may not
be in line with that of the main stream media, because
of this they must learn how to code switch to show
events as unbiased and neutral. HBCU colleges and
universities have a responsibility to speak their voices,
voices that are critical and should never be silenced because
historically they still represent African American communities.
HBCU’s should not allow anyone to define them or
define the AA community even those without formal
education. Education should not divide us, education
and learning can unite us and bond us. Preventing
inter-cultural segregation from happening by nurturing
future journalist that can tell the stories needed to be told
about the African American community in the light of truth.
This blog is about “Building HBCU Intellect Through
Blogging” because blogging is not confined to one tool or
platform. HBCU students need to learn how to Vblog,
Podcast, Microblog, develop E-books, develop interview
strategies, articulate for public speaking and develop
research skills. I’m saddened that when I present myself
a graduate of an HBCU and offer to speak at HBCU schools
on Social Media platforms, tools and using it to promote,
market and brand many seem uninterested or think this
discussion is not needed.

HBCU students must have a passion for writing and have
an answer to why they write. The journalist Samira Sawlani
(UK based writer) has stated “whether you are a writer, a
journalist or a reader, why do you write? Why do you read?”
these should be answered with a personal passion.
Professor Chinua Achebe, revered ‘The grandfather of
African literature’ is an“aide memoire” of the influence of
the writer, the writer has the ability to transcend borders and
fight the status quo. HBCU students whether independent
writers (freelance) or associated with a news agency can
break the traditional ideas and ideologies of culture and
color. Achebe spoke the language of courage and literature.

HBCU students must write to effect positive change and not
write for just monetary rewards. Their passion must show
through first and the praises will come later.
Achebe felt as published in the Paris Review quoted, “My position
is that serious and good art has always existed to help, to serve
humanity.” As a blogger and educator in elementary and
at an HBCU my “craft and ability” are to show my passion to
serve humanity and God. This is my personal mission:
as my blog is titled: My Quest to Teach

As a professor at an HBCU I see the need to teach writing/
blogging to my students and encourage writing to all students.
Diverse careers, multiple productivity tools, integration of
Social Media tools and platforms all work to create and
share content.
The world relies on information, data, statistical analysis and
the flexibility of wireless and portable devices to access and
share information. Students need to learn how to manipulate
devices and how to use them to create content that leaves no
room for stereotypes.
African Americans cannot continue to allow traditional media
to define them. Media is answering the questions that African
Americans
ask ‘Who creates us?’ it’s as if our cultural self
worth and history is dictated by outsiders. In America, African
Americans must learn to use the tools that other cultures use
to share information.

Chinua Achebe and others that embrace writing and blogging
show that these are powerful tools. The HBCU students of today
must understand just as Achebe, Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes,
James Baldwin and others that writing is a moral obligation.
This obligation can be an act of political and economic warfare
by sharing content that is empowering and engaging on the issues
that affect American communities nationwide. African American
issues may be ignored by traditional media, African Americans
must sit down and talk about problems and internal challenges
to effect positive change.

In conclusion HBCU students should be required to start and
maintain a viable Blog and even have a Vblog and Microblog
to share information that highlights African Americans
achievements, successes and accomplishments. Others are
writing about US leaving to wonder are too many still caught
in the intellectual slavery of embarrassment being Blacks?

HBCU students are encouraged to read the works of Achebe.
In his novel “Anthills of the Savannah”; Achebe wrote,
“Storytellers are a threat. They threaten all champions of control,
they frighten usurpers of the right-to-freedom of the human
spirit in state, in church or mosque, in party congress, in the
university or wherever.”

Lessons can be learned by HBCU students from the writers and
journalists of today; the power of the pen should be used to defy
injustices and preserve our histories. HBCU students need to
start writing and blogging to share their stories.
‘Who tells your story?’

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