Readings

  • Social Media Helps Black Lives Matter Fight the Power by Bijan Stephen
  • Naming It, Podcast, Dr. Bedford Palmer

Class Discussion

  • BSU Dance Friday 1/27 @ 9pm
  • How powerful is technology, really?
  • Pros and cons to each platform (FB Gen X and IG/Twitter Millenial)
  • Universal truth not equal to mass appeal
  • Colorism & microagressions (looking different)

Dr. Bedford Palmer is always a very inspirational speaker, so I was very eager to learn more from him today. He posed an initial question to the class: “Just how powerful is technology?” After discussing this with my peers, we found that technology and the news has the ability to distort mass perception, thus making it one of the most powerful tools available in the 21st century. An example that was posed was the Black Lives Matter movement and how the Blue Lives Matter movement occurred immediately afterwards, not necessarily because more cops suddenly began dying, but because something needed to be done in order to counteract the popularity of BLM. The deviciveness, then, of media is conducive to profit making.

The next component of the discussion related to advocacy and activism in black lives, and Dr. Palmer posed the question, “What does it mean to be unacceptable? What does it mean to be an activist?” We determined that in order to be an activist one must be militant, unwavering, and passionate. This individual must be willing to put a cause before their own safety.

Regarding activism at Saint Mary’s, Gloria spoke up about how she wouldn’t define herself as a militant activist because she has a certain role on campus and that role comes with certain standards. She argued that many people on the campus refused to speak up and participate in social activism because they wouldn’t think it was right to be against the same school that offered them so many opportunities. In this way, it sucks to be a part of the SMC campus because they are limited in their roles simply because the school might supplement a part of their income.

There is an evident distortion of information on social media and this results in alternative facts and their subsequent impact is damaging to the often times “right” cause. This use of social media begged the question, “Have we gotten all we can out of social media?” Are we using social media to the best of our abilities or are we simply using it in a way that is easy and accessible to us?

I thought it was a very interesting perspective that many members of the SMC campus struggled with their image after participating in on campus activism, simply because of the way in which news and authorities can cast a shadow on those who participate. This campus advocacy is so important and crucial in changing the way that white people view and understand the BLM movement and I found that this class really opened my eyes to the way that activism affects black lives and experiences.


Learning Objective #2: Demonstrate (understanding of) campus advocacy and activism, as related to black lives and experiences. 

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