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Date of this Version

Fall 2009

Comments

Published in MultiCultural Review (Fall 2009) 18(3): 68. Copyright 2009, The Goldman Group. Used by permission.

Abstract

In the introduction, Everett declares that "The focus of this project is on early instances of African diasporic engagements with cyberspace." She expands her thesis through chapters such as: "Toward a Theory of the Egalitarian Technosphere: How Wide Is the Digital Divide?" and "The Revolution Will Be Digitized: Reimaging Africanity in Cyberspace." Throughout, Everett aims to explain why she is both hopeful and discouraged by the level of engagement either enjoyed by or denied to African Americans in the digital sphere.

While the thesis is compelling, I found the book written in a style that is difficult to comprehend. Here is one sentence from the "Serious Play: Playing with Race in Contemporary Gaming Culture" chapter, on p. 123: "Even taking into account poststructuralist deconstructions of the signifier-signified meaning loop, cinema studies theories of excess that destabilizes certitude in image construction, and cultural studies' advancement of resistant spectatorship and reception, these recognitions of the polysemous nature of signs and signification do little to dislodge the fact that privileged cultural ideologies are the ‘transcendent signifiers' or points of reference from which they all depart."

Clearly well-researched, with copious end notes and list of references , this book may be of use to advanced students who are examining the African-American experience with cyberspace, but I would not recommend it for a general audience.

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