The Digital Divide

Standing at the Intersection of Race and Technology

by Raneta Lawson Mack

Tags: Civil Rights/Race and the Law, Culture and Law, Current Affairs

Table of Contents (PDF)

216 pp  $25.00

ISBN 978-0-89089-641-9

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In today's world, personal computers and the Internet allow access to unprecedented amounts of information. Although technology is drawing the world closer together, the advancement of technology is also leaving in its wake a widening gap between the "haves" and the "have-nots," a gap that has important racial dimensions.

This book explores some of the historical reasons why minority communities might legitimately fear technological advancements and resist the adoption of new technology, even if it is widely available. The book also explores how the legacy of slavery, which promoted the social, economic and educational separation of the races, is a major contributing factor to the current technology gap. On a positive note, Mack concludes that this divide is not a hopeless condition and offers several examples of community and corporate efforts aimed at narrowing the divide.

The Digital Divide clearly demonstrates that the technology gap is not a myth and is not without consequences. Each day, massive amounts of information are exchanged, deals are made, jobs are offered and secured, and products change hands, all with the click of a mouse. Those who do not have access to the relevant technology are relegated to an information deprived "virtual underclass." Over time, the ripple effect of being outside of the global technology infrastructure may have a lasting impact on individual personal and professional development, thereby continuing or even exacerbating the traditional societal, racial and economic schisms.