Technological politics and the political history of African-Americans
Date of Award
This dissertation is a critical study of technopolitical issues in the history of African American people. Langdon Winner's theory of technopolitics was used to facilitate the analysis of large scale technologies and their compatibility with various political ends. I contextualized the central technopolitical issues within the major epochs of African American political history: the Atlantic slave trade, the African artisans of antebellum America, and the American Industrial Age. Throughout this study I have sought to correct negative stereotypes and to show how "technological gauges" were employed to belittle people of African descent. This research also has shown that the mainstream notion that Africans had no part in the history of technology is false. This study identifies and analyses specific technologies that played a major role in the political affairs of Africans and African Americans. Those technologies included nautical devices, fort construction, and automatic guns in Africa, and hoes, plows, tractors, cotton gins, and the mechanical cotton pickers in America. The findings of this study suggested that African Americans have been disengaged and victimized by western technologies. This dissertation proposes how to overcome the oppressive uses of technology.
Cosby, Bruce, "Technological politics and the political history of African-Americans" (1995). ETD Collection for Robert W. Woodruff Library, Atlanta University Center. Paper AAI9543185.