Black Lives Matter is such an important
contemporary social justice movement, and one tied to technology
in interesting ways. In one sense, BLM seems most related to
technology in the sense of using social media as a platform for
organizing and visibility, and your intention to cite Tufekci and Heller
will be useful there. However, we also have seen that the tech
world, in spite of many efforts to the contrary, has also exacerbated
racial inequity, and the Benjamin article explores that. You may want
to look at Gibbon’s article as well: she offers a perspective on the
ways that Black communities saw tech as empowering in the 60s
and 70s – not as a *platform* for seeking liberation but as the
industry for it. Tech jobs, tech skills were seen as liberating
socioeconomically, rather than tech itself as a platform: this
historical shift could be something you consider in the project.
Tufekci’s work will help you to explore and explain how BLM uses
social media to organize, and to compare BLM to the civil rights
movement which she discusses at length in the book Twitter and
Teargas – we read parts of it but other parts will serve you here. In
your historical background and reflections on technology sections of
the Report, you should explore the different visions of tech as
liberatory to Black people that we have explored in class! In case
you haven’t already found them – here are the BLM demands:, as updated post the
January 6 attack on the US Capitol.