Mobilizing Black Technoculture
The historical significance of African American use of citizens band radio rests in its functioning as a nexus for, and challenge to, various histories: of the politics of black speech and oral culture; of the role of radio programming in the creation of black cultural identity; and of race and technology. Black CB also shows how “community” and “identity” do not necessarily originate through direct contact and communication. As this chapter shows, its users built on an already existing black aural public sphere—rooted in black-interest broadcast radio, jive talk, and jazz and blues lyrics—and adapted CB technology to combine with that aural-oral sphere to connect geographically and socially diverse individuals. Black CB thus indirectly created a technologically mediated community based on perceived audible racial identity.