Join us for the Franklin Lecture with Dr. Charlton D. McIlwain, April 4, 2023

Black Software showcases computing technology’s origin story amidst the turbulent racial confrontations of the 1960s, connecting it to the rise of the Black internet who helped to birth the Internet as we know it through the late 1980s and 1990s.

With the Franklin Lecture, Dr. McIlwain provides an opportunity to bring together the most significant takeaways from the books, arguments never presented in the book – but nevertheless connect computing technology’s past with the prospect of our future will and ability to make technology work in the service of racial equity and opportunity.

Event Details:

Date: April 4, 2023
Time: Lecture from 7-8:30 pm

Book signing and reception to follow

Place: Innis Town Hall
Innis College, 2 Sussex Ave, Toronto, ON M5S 1J5


Copies of Dr. McIlwain’s new book, Black SoftwareThe Internet & Racial Justice, from the AfroNet to Black Lives Matter (2019) will be available for sale at the event.


Dr. McIlwain is Vice Provost for Faculty Engagement and Development, Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and President of the Board of Directors at Data & Society. He is the founder of the Center for Critical Race and Digital Studies and co-author of the award-winning book, Race Appeal: How Political Candidates Invoke Race in U.S. Political Campaigns.




The Franklin Lecture is held each year at Innis College’s Town Hall in honour of the enduring legacy of Ursula Franklin. In 1984 she became the first woman to be honoured with the title of “University Professor” by the University of Toronto. Dr. Franklin continues to be known for both her significant scientific achievements and her contributions to the humanities and community justice.

The Franklin Lecture features invited scholars who bring the critical study of science, media, and politics to bear in their visions of new political futures.

The Franklin Lecture is a collaborative venture between the Knowledge Media Design Institutethe Centre for Culture and TechnologyInnis College’s Writing & Rhetoric Programthe Centre for the Study of the United Statesthe Black Research Network, and OISE Department of Social Justice Education.

Innis Town Hall is accessible on the main floor. There are four dedicated spaces for assistive mobility devices at the rear of Innis Town Hall, and the theatre has power-assisted doors for full access. Assistive-listening devices are also available. An accessible gender-neutral washroom is located next to the Innis Café. Please direct any accessibility inquiries to