Will they lead the call for Equality?
The Chronicle World tells who they are and their importance
By Thomas L Blair 27 June 2019 ©
After the in-or-out Brexit chaos is resolved, there’s one thing for sure. The race question will still remain in a divided nation. And Black Britain’s Alpha Generation, the kids born after 2010, have a chance lead the Call for Equality and Justice.
But it’s feared they’ll fall prey to consumerism. Obsessed with buying things and stuff. Drugged on mindless What’s App-ing. And ignore the unmet demands of the Grenfell Tower survivors and the toilers of the Windrush Generation – their forebears…
Here is a downloadable check list on the origins, challenges and what the Alpha Generation means for the future.
The Alpha Generation, the distinct offspring of Millennial parents,* were born literally with a smart phone in their hands. They, wake up with a tablet and go to bed with a smartphone on their pillow.
They prefer to communicate via images, texting and voice control. Tablets are their favourites — particularly popular among younger children like them.
A majority of three- to four-year-olds (55 per cent) are reported to use a tablet. And more than 40 per cent among five- to 15-year-olds own a smartphone and tablet, according to official reports on children’s media use.*
Of course, there is a downside.
The naysayers – worried parents, teachers and child psychologists – are up in arms. They understandably worry about children’s smart media use. The dangers of obsessive over use, visual and lessening human interaction are ever present.
No doubt the Alpha kid’s media use makes them prey to false news and child abuse.
Furthermore, they could fall victim to the dulling drugs of mindless chit-chat and the glittering allure of consumerism.
This is not surprising, because even at just five years old generation the Alphas are inundated with compelling digital ads.
81% of parents with children this age say they watch videos or play games on an electronic device on a daily basis. The result is useless “Google brains” that hinder proper schooling, say experts.
Time to think positively about Black Britain’s Alpha Generation
Nevertheless, I sense there is something about the Alpha kids that makes them so important for Black futures in Britain. And, here’s why.
Young Generation Alpha will grow up interacting with AI and robots, as well as humans. They will play with connected games and toys which respond to commands and demonstrate emotional intelligence.
They will be at ease with devices that interact with the World Wide Web and mobile operating systems. This makes them the most technologically Black generation ever.
As they grow older and develop verbal skills, voice communication with devices will become common. By the time they are past their teenage years, their emerging social consciousness will be positive and uplifting.
They’ll trigger social movements with their smartphones, browsing software and mobile operating systems. Handy instruments to gain compensation for their Windrush forebears and aid the justice claims of the Grenfell Tower fire survivors.
New Alpha Generation, New goals, New challenges post-Brexit
The working Black Alpha Generation will take on jobs in the burgeoning IT industries. Chances are that many will eschew formal higher education and opt for cheaper online learning.
New entrepreneurial abilities will take shape. The best minds will add a human dimension to robotics.
Furthermore, activists’ data-crunching algorithms will span the African and Caribbean Diaspora net-ways. To create new digital net-links across inherited divisive colonial, class and island/continental rivalries.
They’ll develop the Instagram, Facebook and SnapChat posts that provoke the best “likes” from their followers.
Going viral with the best ideas and responses they will influence hundreds, maybe thousands – possibly millions — of bloggers and tweeters.
This will add a layer of accessible own-defined, Afro-centric and digitised information about Black culture and identity.
In their maturing years from 2020 to 2030, the Alpha Generation will have the social media savvy, and skills to face up to – and erase — continuing public policy hostility to Black people.
Activists and their social, political and intellectual allies will develop a whole new understanding of what it means to be Black, proud and progressive.
Impossible dream or perfectably doable?
So, will the Alpha Generation make a difference? What will they draw from Black British culture and what will they bequeath to it? Can they be the harbingers of a prosperous and progressive next phase of Black History? And make Britain a fairer place?
They can if they confront race discrimination policy issues in the public realm and:
- Focus attention on online activism in areas outside formal political participation;
- Promote the new digital technologies that can help information-poor Black communities.
- Highlight urban issues, past and present, that impact on Black Britons;
Will Black Futures be brighter or in peril post-Brexit?
No one knows the answers. But I am convinced that, despite all the race-based marginalisation, the Black Alpha Generation can make adifference. They’ll have the ability to radicalise, reinvent and add something distinctive to the core of being Black and leaders in a post-Brexit more democratic Britain.
The Millennials are individuals and parents born between the early 1980s and early years of the 21st century.
The Communications Act 2003 placed a responsibility on Ofcom to promote, and to carry out research in, media literacy. Photo by OfCom. https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0024/134907/Children-and-Parents-Media-Use-and-Attitudes-2018.pdf
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