Enthusiasm for the anticipated social dividends of the Internet appears boundless. Indeed, the Internet is expected to do no less than virtually transform society. Yet even as the Internet races ambitiously toward critical mass, some social scientists are beginning to examine carefully the policy implications of current demographic patterns of Internet access and usage. Key demographic variables like income and education drive the policy questions surrounding the Internet because they are the most likely have a differential impact on the consequences of interactive electronic media for different segments in our society. Given these concerns, we set out to conduct a systematic investigation of the differences between whites and African Americans in the United States with respect to computer access, the primary current prerequisite for Internet access, and Web use. We wished to examine whether observed race differences in access and use can be accounted for by differences in income and education, how access influences use, and when race matters in the calculus of equal access. The particular emphasis of this research is on how such differences may be changing over time. We believe our results may be used as a window through which policymakers might view the job of ensuring access to the Internet for the next generation.