By: Larry Fellows
Last Friday, Larry Fellows joined a delegation of Black activists and organizers from the police accountability movement to meet with leaders of the Federal Communications Commission and Congressional Black Caucus about the preservation of net neutrality. Coordinated by the Media Action Grassroots Network and our partners, the delegation discussed the role of media and the Internet to amplify and protect Black voices amid this racial justice crisis.
The internet has become a vital source of information whether it’s news or entertainment, but it is also a lifeline for so many in the U.S. Many families rely on open access to apply for employment, apply for benefits or even connect with other members of their family. It was important to be a voice included in this delegation with so many great leaders on how necessary net neutrality is.
Growing up in the 90’s, the internet has been a very important influence in my life and having a computer at an early age with access to the world is liberation. Unconsciously, the open internet shed light on the murder of Mike Brown and Ferguson [a small municipality in St. Louis, MO, that non-residents didn’t know existed]. Concerned residents showing up to the site of his murder, broadcasting from their smartphones to show the country what local and national media wouldn’t cover. For future generations to experience that without limitations is powerful especially to those in communities where they think/feel they won’t have access to opportunities. What has happened with Brown and Garner in New York, has pushed millennials across the nationally, globally to utilize the internet to also organize and network on the ground. Congressmen like John Lewis even stated, “the Civil Rights movement would have been more successful if we had the internet.” It is a major source for human rights, civil rights, education and health work.
Larry Fellows is an activist from St. Louis now living in New York City.