2020 | Special Issue: "Blackness @ Play"
FROM ‘PERMIT PATTY’ TO ‘KAREN’: BLACK ONLINE PLAY AS RESISTANCE
This article argues that online Black publics tap into historical elements of racial humor, such as storytelling, to incisively critique white womanhood and the police state in specific offline circumstances. Through two case studies–#PermitPatty and #Karen–I argue that Black online publics use racial humor as play in order to: (1) offer new roles, such as the omniscient narrator, to each other and (2) invert naming stereotypes while critiquing and reducing the forces of domination to that of 'child’s play.'
2021 | Maragh-Lloyd, R. & Corsbie-Massay, C.
EMBODYING RESISTANCE: UNDERSTANDING THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP THROUGH THE LENS OF MIXED AND MULTIRACIAL CARIBBEANS
This article features two studies that describe how social network sites allow for mixed and multiracial Caribbean people to discursively promote multi-faceted understandings of racial and ethnic identities on a globalized scale. Through a content analysis of public posts on Twitter as well as interviews with nine self-identified mixed and multiracial Caribbean people, three primary strategies emerged: (1) navigating racial rhetoric, (2) displaying a cohesive mixed and multiracial identity, and (3) negotiating discriminatory rhetoric through embodied resistance.
A DIGITAL POSTRACIAL PARITY? RETHINKING ONLINE MEDIA CULTURE THROUGH BLACK WOMEN’S EVERYDAY RESISTANCE
This article examines and critiques digital media culture and its embedded postracial logics through the resistance strategies of Black women online. Specifically, I am interested in everyday resistance strategies as “seemingly innocuous” communication, which is understood from theorizations of “hidden transcripts” that black publics utilize to counteract dominance. In order to explore “everyday resistance” I employed focus groups with 20 Black women and present patterns of resistance strategies online, such as visual signifiers and posting news articles. Secondly, I interrogate how these resistance strategies “talk back” to and circumvent the underpinnings of digital media culture through the postracial logics of individuality and networked influence. Ultimately, Black women’s interconnected identities reveal the flaws of digital culture as postracial by demonstrating their resistance strategies that must work around any assumption of a “postracial parity.”
2020 | In L.K. Lopez (Ed.) | Studying Race and Media | NYU Press.
ARTICULATIONS OF BLACK FAMILIAL TRADITIONS AS RESISTANCE
This chapter builds on the burgeoning analytical field of ‘Black Twitter’ in order to analyze the ways in which Black publics engage in activism by shaping discourses around familial and cultural practices online. By and large, Black activist groups coalesce online through the political influence and reach of specific groups (Freelon, McIlwain & Clark, 2016), the affordances of particular sites that Black users navigate (Brock, 2012), and the online spaces where racialized and gendered groups ‘talk back’ to dominant structures (Maragh, 2016; Steele, 2016). From an analysis of #ThanksgivingClapback, I argue that Black users tap into an individual and collective sense of influence that de-centers mainstream interlopers’ ability to enter into Black cultural discourse. Black expressions of familial cultural traditions also highlight the cultural longevity of these traditions in ways that reshape dominant frames of the ‘spectacle’ of Black life (Hall, 1997). Within these online discourses, Black users deploy practices of humor and entertainment in ways that allow them
to form social critiques against dominant practices, such as cultural appropriation.
‘AUTHENTICITY ON BLACK TWITTER’: READING RACIAL PERFORMANCE AND SOCIAL NETWORKING
This article investigates the complex rhetorics of racial authenticity online, intermixing ethnography and critical technocultural discourse analysis (CTDA) to understand African American users’ investments in enacting race in their social networks. I put forth the finding of “performance in the negative case,” as interviewees discuss their lack of participation in their ingroup based on diverse perceptions of racial authenticity. I argue that a full understanding of racial authenticity, performative participation, and nonresponsiveness opens up identity and race formulations to include complexities of what is and is notexpressed via interaction and performance.