Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Afrosphere Encourages Black Voter Participation

The 2008 presidential election is a seminal historical point in determining the direction of the United States. Our country's leaders must deal with issues of healthcare, economics, foreign policy, immigration and others that directly affect every American’s life. The difference in 2008 is that we have two viable candidates for a major party presidential nomination who are not white males.

It is important that all Americans who are eligible to vote do so this year. Many of the issues on the national agenda have a disproportionate effect on the Black community. Yet, past voter turnout by eligible Blacks continues to lag behind.

With those factors in mind, the Afroshpere Action Coalition has initiated a 'Proud Black Voter' movement to encourage people of African descent to vote in 2008. The 'Proud Black Voter' blog hopes to:

  • inform the public about the importance of the need to vote
  • facilitate people in getting registered
  • encourage greater voter registration and election participation within the Black community
Music mogul Sean "P. Diddy" Combs stressed the importance of voting in America when he said, "People have died to have that right. When the president is running your country, he is running you". Political commentator Armstrong Williams echoes that sentiment regarding Black people in specific saying, "we must go to the poll and pull that lever, not just for you, but what it has taken for you to be here".

LaTonya Johnson (aka Mrs. Grapevine) started the discussions leading to creation of this Proud Black Voter blog. She wrote, "I am an avid voter…hopefully we can get Black people moving so that we can vote in the Presidential Election in record numbers."

Wayne Hicks (aka Villager) is participating in the Proud Black Voter blog because he sees it as "...a tangible way to use the growing influence of Black bloggers to influence the actions of our readers for the greater good. It is a way to use cyberspace to uplift people of African descent by pointing out ways for them to get registered and vote no mater where they live ... or who they want to support."

The Afrosphere Action Coalition asks all blogs and websites operated by people of African descent to participate by prominently displaying one of the six Proud Black Voter buttons on their blog or website. The HTML widget reads 'Proud Black Voter...Join Me Now, Register to Vote' and can be placed on anyone's blog or webpage with a link back to the Proud Black Voter blog to obtain information on voter registration, voter rights, and other voting issues.

This is a nonpartisan effort to increase participation in the political process. If you have questions or wish to discuss further you can reach out to any member of the Afrosphere Action Coalition, including LaTonya Johnson (, Yobachi Boswell (615.478-5204) or Wayne Hicks (513.362-2703).

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