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Why Coding?

“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs only to the people who prepare for it today.”

Those words were spoken by Malcolm X in 1964. And yet here we are, fifty years later, and they ring just as true today. Education and literacy are the entry points into productive society, which is what African-Americans for centuries have been fighting to gain and maintain – access. To words and ideas, that shape the way we live and help us to control our own destiny.

And with the dawning of the 21st century has come a new access point – the internet. Basic literacy is no longer a game-changer, but a default assumption. People of all ages and backgrounds regularly read and write a constant stream of characters, words and phrases, in the form of text messages, status updates, product reviews, sports analysis, and news stories. And we process this data in large quantities using a variety of devices. The advent of social media has turned us all into purveyors of our own personal brands, where we curate our lives into bite-size pieces of accessible multimedia.

But the rules of the internet economy dictate that if the app or platform is free, then you’re not the customer – you’re the product. So it’s no longer just about whether or how often you can access the internet, but what you do with that access.

The battle for who owns tomorrow will not be fought with a printing press, but with a programming language.

Coding is a new literacy.

The Brothaman Tech Incubator program is designed to help people of color compete in tomorrow’s world economy by teaching them how to think logically and systematically – in other words, by teaching them to read and write code.

But we need your help to do it, and we need it now.

Because winning a future tomorrow requires preparing for it today.