Throughout the history of the internet, Messageboards have been one of the foundational tools people have used to connect with like-minded individuals on the web from all over the world. They have stood the test time, predating the AOL Craze, Myspace, and lasting into what we know as the current generation of Social Media with Powerhouses like Facebook and Twitter. The ability for Online-Forums to last so long is the need for people to have meaningful discussions with a form of depth and anonymity that other forms of Social Media cannot not provide.
While the heydey of forums can be considered to be over, the continual prominence of several large messageboard that cover all niches of life speak to their importance even in today’s climate. One of the world’s largest and most active websites ‘Reddit’ is a Messageboard. Several prominent forums like Boxden, BlackHairCair, and Kanyetothe.com, have thousands of active members who readily contribute often controversial opinions to different takes on Social Events in Urban Culture. Forum’s still have a unique ability to unite groups of people and provide a depth of information and discussion not often found on certain subjects.
One thing that is lacking, are large and prominent Black-Owned Forums. It is even quite hard to find a time in the history of the internet when a true black forum could be considered one of the Top even in the niche of Black Websites. If we take a look at the largest ‘Urban’ (and I call it this instead of ‘Black’ sites for a reason) like the ones mentioned in the previous paragraph, and add in a few others like Lipstick Alley, The Coli, and Topix African-American Forum, we can go as far as to say that the majority of these sites are owned by non-black entities.
That’s why we want to provide a list of the best True Black Forums on the internet, ones that are really Black-Owned, and that facilitate positive discussions and representations of the Black Community
Honorable Mention – The Black Board Community Forum (www.theblack-board.com)
Did you think we wouldn’t mention ourselves? The newest forum out of all the ones mentioned, it could be argued that it deserves a place near the top of this list. But to be fair-and-balanced (since we are writing this article after all) we will leave it off the official standings. The Black Board opened in early 2016 and has already established itself quickly as one of the best places on the internet where Black People can discuss a variety of issues under a Black-Owned Umbrella. The Black Board focuses on general discussion on News and Social Issues, and also on everyday experiences in Life. The owner of the website is active in the local and national Black Activism community and partners with a variety of other Black Websites and Media Content Creators. They also have a great form of community currency that encourages interactions.
# 5: Black Visions (http://www.blackvisions.org/)
Black Visions is one of the oldest sites on this list. They describe themselves as “ your go-to place to experience news, information, entertainment, and political discussion with black people from all around the globe. Post your thoughts on a modern, efficient bulletin board software system, with a full suite of text editing, emotes, pictures, and videos. Connect with your black brothers and sisters everywhere at any time, with our message board.”
Black Visions focuses on more serious discussions, often on political topics. They also feature a system of closed membership that vets potential members. This allows them to closely control the quality of discussions and enforce anti-Black trolling.
4: Cocoa Lounge (http://www.cocoalounge.org/)
The Cocoa Lounge is a O.G. on this list. Around for over a decade, it has managed to remain at the forefront of Black Forums and maintain, while many other sites have come and gone. The Cocoa Lounge specializes in discussions that involve Black Literature, Poetry, Spirituality, Current Events, and Celebrities. While not as active as some of the other sites on this list it has years of an incredible backlog of great discussions due to it being a mainstay for such a long time. The Cocoa Lounge has more than earned it’s spot in this conversation.
3: SomaliSpot.com (www.somalispot.com)
SomaliSpot is technically the newest forum officially on this list, but they are by far the most active. They broke out of long established messageboard SomaliNet just a few years ago and already have appeared to supplant that site as the Premiere discussion forum for the Somali People on the internet. A general discussion board that focuses on conversations going on in Somali Culture, the site as already proven to have a influential reach, with discussions there going viral and even spilling over into News Stories that effect real life situations, going as far as Elected Public Officials. This site also may be the most controversial on here as well because of some of these situations, but there is no denying SomaliSpot and it’s Owner appear to have etched their mark in The Online World of The Somali People in a short time, which deserves respect on it’s own.
2: AALBC (https://aalbc.com/)
AALBC is unique in this list because they specifically focus on African-American Books & Literature. This also gives them their strength, as you will be hard pressed to find a forum with more mature discussions from a Black userbase on the internet. Also focusing on Cultural and Racial Discussions, AALBC puts a spotlight on journalists and writers in the Black Community, with a dedicated owner who is respected in the field and also covers events that he features on the site. AALBC is about educating and networking, and the importance of that work in the Black Community gives them their well-deserved spot as #2 on this list.
1: Destee (www.destee.com)
The Granddaddy (Grandmother) of all Black Forums, past or present, on the internet. There was absolutely no question that Destee would perch itself at the very top of this list. Around for almost 20 years, Destee.com is the trailblazer for all Black Forums on the web. The namesake of the forum’s owner (Sister Destee, one the most respected Black figures online) Destee is the number one place on the web for no-nonsense, 100% pro-black, discussions. The greatness of Destee lies not just in it’s ability to stand the test of time, but also by without hesitation eliminating any negative conversations or members that wish to harm the black community. Although heavily moderated, and not as active as other sites on this list, Destee has more than earned it’s spot as the leader of Black Forums, period. We look forward to 20 more years of seeing Destee remain one of the Best Places online Period for Black People!