Virtual Communities

African American Websites are hooking people up in more ways than one

of returns for many searches, one drawback is that other sites must register with it or their names will not pop up when Web-heads query the Net. This could eliminate noteworthy destinations. But makes up for this with its “Metro” section, where visitors can view or enter details about happenings in their region, find a “Literature” area where self-published or published writers can hawk their wares, and surf through an interesting “History” section. The site also has an admirable and extensive “Music and Audio” section linking visitors to African American programming. Visiting here could also prove profitable. intends to offer private stock to its members. features more than links to “cool” and “new” sites. It offers free e-mail, free Websites, discussion boards, personals, and stock quotes. is a basic search engine that is on its way to becoming a portal for African American-related issues. The colorful pastel-colored site is pleasing to the eyes when calling up information, but input searches currently yield very little. Clicking on BlackWebPortal’s categorical links, however, results in a more abundant list of avenues to pursue. One of the site’s most appealing sections is its “BWP Black Pages,” a brick-and-mortar business search, where, for example, a request for lawyers pulled up about 200 practitioners. For the college bound it offers an extensive, yet incomplete list of black colleges with descriptions and contact information. There is some news content and a section that lists “Cool New Sites.”

Vying for its position as the black AOL, this site has over a dozen channels, including arts and humanities, business, computers, entertainment, health, references and history, and education. In addition, you can find e-zines, newspapers, and other media outlets catering to black news. BlackWebPortal also offers its own spin, with editorial commentary and top news of the day.

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