You've Always Waited for This Moment to Arrive?

My first response upon hearing about the launch of Blackbird, the new Internet browser for black folks, was, well… WTF? Oh, and then I laughed and cracked jokes. (‘Hit us up at hotep://’) And then I shifted in my seat and seriously considered this. (Note to self: learn to go with your first response.)

Blackbird was developed on the simple proposition that we, as the African American community, can make the Internet experience better for ourselves and, in doing so, make it better for everyone. Primarily we believe that the Blackbird application can make it easier to find African American related content on the Internet and to interact with other members of the African American community online by sharing stories, news, comments and videos via Blackbird.

In turn, we can provide you with up-to-date information about what’s hot in our community as well as news and user recommendations related to all things African American.

“All things African American”? [Insert boilerplate, eye-roll-y PostBourgie response here.]

But why is this better than using Firefox or Chrome to hit up some portal like BlackVoices or whatever? And wouldn’t Facebook/Meetup/et al make for better social organizing tools than a browser?

This is like creating a car specifically for black people so that they/we can drive to places frequented by other Negroes.* There are so many problems with the pitch that I can’t see how it could work.

Blackbird is free for you because it is supported by advertising and sponsorships. You don’t pay to use Blackbird.

I’m sorry. Are muhfuckahs paying for Internet browsers now? This seems wild condescending.

* I think these actually once existed, and they were called Cadillacs.

UPDATE: I just saw this over at ABW:

This is just my gut feeling and not based on anything but a hunch and a small experience: I think BlackBird probably tracks users’ Internet usage without telling them.  Possibly even something worse.

One reason I started feeling this way is that, when I first installed BlackBird, it asked me if I wanted to make it my default browser.  I told it no, it did it, anyway.  When I reclaimed the defaulkt state for my regular Firefox, that took.  But when I shut BlackBird down, then clicked on a link in my email, BlackBird came back, having made itself my default browser yet again.

This is not good in any way.

Yikes. Blackbird: brought to you by COINTELPRO?



Gene "G.D." Demby is the founder and editor of PostBourgie. In his day job, he blogs and reports on race and ethnicity for NPR's Code Switch team.
  • e.

    i saw this a few days ago but couldn’t tell if they were serious or not. what in the world is a browser just for black people. is the homepage set to go directly to black planet and bet? i’m sticking with firefox until i know what makes this different (read: better).

    black people… we gotta do better.


  • robynj

    I’m going to Flatbush to buy BlackPots(TM) specifically for making hamhocks and grits. Oy this is dumb.

  • Re. update: once you go black, you can’t go back.

  • ladyfresshh

    robynj – you so wrong…funny …but wrong

    but funny

  • ladyfresshh

    side note anyone use blackle?…black google….er and no *raise power fist* black google but a black screened google for power conservation…

  • steven crane

    it’s just a cosmetic re-do of firefox anyway. it says so basically at the very bottom of the “support” link:

    Other Questions

    For other common browser-related questions please visit the Mozilla FAQ

    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.9) Gecko/2008110401 [Blackbird/0.99a] Mozilla source code can be obtained from mozilla

    A copy of the Mozilla Public License (MPL) may be viewed at the following address

    For other Blackbird-related questions unanswered questions please send an email to

  • Alexis

    Are they serious with this crap? Why do black people need a special browser? Who cosigned this bull?