us: Hip-Hopping the Digital Divide
Posted in: Digital Divide at 14/11/2007 04:37
Greater broadband access among urban minorities has spurred entrepreneurs to develop new, media-rich sites for this growing audience
When entertainment entrepreneurs Russell Simmons and Navarrow Wright first developed an online destination for hip-hop music and culture eight years ago, the World Wide Web wasn't ready. White North Americans were logging on in record numbers, but the African American and Latino communities that birthed the hip-hop genre in the 1970s, by and large, were not. There was a so-called digital divide separating urban youth, many of them nonwhite, from their wealthier, often white, counterparts. Hip-hop was on the wrong side of that divide. Until now.
New numbers from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, scheduled for release Nov. 14, show the gap is closing as more black, Hispanic, and inner-city youth are not only logging on, but doing so via high-speed connections. The shift isn't lost on hip-hop entrepreneurs such as Simmons and Wright, who have launched multimedia-filled social Web sites that reflect the music, news, and culture relevant to urban minorities.