I have a dream
August 28, 2013 § 3 Comments
Let me let you in on something
The year was 2007 and I had been making YouTube videos for a few months. I was one of very few black video bloggers at the time. I felt very safe to make them at the time because there were no South Africans on YouTube back then. What I started noticing was that black video bloggers always got vicious racist comments all the time, so I made I Have YouTube Dream “speech” (see below). I had never seen such pure hatred in my life. The things said to me were beyond shocking.
Luckily, I rarely ever had to respond and users who followed my videos would respond on my behalf and attack the racists. I wrote my own version of the I Have A Dream speech, I fumble every now and then as I tried to remember what I had memorised. When I made it, it also happened to be Black History month in the US. The video became popular fast. So, one early morning in February when I woke up, I saw that YouTube had actually featured this video on it’s front page. I was the first South African featured on YouTube’s front page. I even got an email from the co-founder of the site, Steve Chen. I nearly died. Below is the email from Mr Chen.
Back then, YouTube looked after the little guys, we were a community. As consumption patterns on YouTube changed, so did the site. The community sort of vanished. I made a great friends on the internet I had never met and will most probably never meet most of them. It was my first social network. YouTube opened a lot of doors for me. If you watch the video, please see it in the context I have described above, it was not meant to demean Dr King’s work at all, it was a response to the racism that was happening on YouTube at the time, and YouTube had recognised it as a problem as well, I suspect that was the reason the video was put on the front page.