Tara Conley, Research Director at Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation, presents:
Abstract: What might hashtags like #BlackLivesMatter, #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen, #WhyIStayed, #YouOkSis, #BlackWomenAtWork, #OscarsSoWhite, #BlackGirlMagic, #GirlLikeMe, #BlackPowerIsForBlackMen, and #MeToo all have in common? They reflect a contemporary vernacular created and proliferated by Black women across online and offline spaces. In other words, they share a common language that disrupts the status quo and challenges commonly held beliefs about Black women, their place in social life, and their communities. The use of genealogies here is also intentional; it is a h/t (hat tip) to scholarship that maps the origin stories and the development of Black feminist thought overtime. For this presentation, Dr. Conley examines the codes-- otherwise known as Black feminist hashtags that articulate social and political movements and center the stories of Black women’s lived experiences. By mapping prominent Black feminist hashtags from their origins to development overtime, this presentation shows how hashtags do more than just trend. They locate our stories, document collective action, and point to infrastructures and ideologies that are often at odds with the disruption of order.
Bio: Tara L. Conley, Ed.D. is a social media scholar, ethnographer, and mediamaker based in New York City. She teaches courses in media and cultural studies, as well as in race and feminism at Teachers College, Columbia University, The New School, and New York University. In 2013, she founded the online platform Hashtag Feminism as a way to document feminist projects, dialogues, and movement building across online and offline spaces. She currently serves as the Research Director at Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation. You can view more of Dr. Conley’s work at taralconley.org and follow her on Twitter @taralconley.