Digital Divide;Social Media in Black and Latino Communities Hunter College

Digital Divide is seen as an economic and social inequality in regards to access, use, and knowledge of information and communication technologies. Reading articles about digital divide, as I researched, I found it to be defined  as a social inequality and connectivity gap among distinct regions and demographics. Looking more into it I believe that this kind of definition is just a scrape of the surface. The underlying major factor affecting these certain regions to have this limited access and use is race. Race is the major reason for this social inequality. It seems as if some definitions and articles are blind to this fact. The reason why certain regions do not have access and knowledge of ICT’s is due to aggregation of racial groups. Because of this aggregation there is a gap between White , Black, and Latino communities as there is in turn with access and use of ICT’s. Some articles I read on the web gave an impression of hiding the fact that its a social inequality by being part of a bigger racial inequality. Is it coincidental that the best access to ICT’s is given in regions that are primarily white? Or the other way around. Is it coincidental that the regions that have the worst access to ICT’s are primarily black and latino communities?

I decided to look into East New York , Brooklyn’s access to public wi-fi as opposed to Brooklyn Heights to see whether a gap was indeed there. I looked up free wi-fi’s available in a certain areas through and saw that there are a total of 15 public wi-fi’s available in East New York, which were all either Mcdonalds or Public Libraries! There are no starbucks in East New York. And East New York is majority Black and Latino. Brooklyn Heights ,on the other hand, has 30 public places with wi-fi. Out of these 30 , only four are Mcdonalds and Public libraries. There are also 4 Starbucks. Brooklyn Heights is majority white. This is no coincidence as can be seen! The region that is majority white has twice as many public places with wi-fi than one that is majority Black and Latino. Starbucks seems like a symbol of whether a region is digitally deprived. It is most present in regions of white majority whereas its barely seen where there is poverty or majority black and latino. The reason why I looked into East New York is because I have actually visited the place a few times recently to meet up with someone. As i walked around Is saw no caffe’s, starbucks and places that predominate in regions of white majority. I just saw mcdonalds , dunkin donuts, payless, rainbow, a lot of african and latino restaurants and meat markets. Most of the people there were people of color specifically black. The possibility of seeing a white person was really low. I was  like the only white person on the subway cart. The limited access to wi-fi there is disturbing. It’s not like East New York is a slow paced area, other wise this limited access would be understandable. The amount of people getting off the train is like the amount of people getting off at 68st Hunter College. To have this many people in an area and  deprive them of resources other regions have is pure inequality!


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