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June Thursday

Virtual Program | Bearing Witness While Black: Technology, Race, and Documenting the Movement for Black Lives


During the current, game-changing, daily, protests calling for an end to police brutality and other forms of racist violence against Black Americans, we have seen unprecedented uses of technology, from the smartphone to social media, to document the history of this modern Civil Rights movement.

Professor of Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School Allissa V. Richardson explores this phenomenon in her book Bearing Witness While Black: African Americans, Smartphones, and the New Protest #Journalism, and traces the tradition of activist journalism through the historical work of Black journalists during Abolition, the anti-lynching work of Ida B. Wells, and other precursors. Join Richardson and Mark Anthony Neal, James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of African and African American Studies at Duke University, for a discussion of what shifts in technology have meant for capturing the movement, and how Black communities in particular have commanded the narrative, often challenging more mainstream efforts to undermine calls for change.


Thursday, June 25, 2020

6:30 pm

Online program via Zoom Webinar


  • Free Free
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    Allissa V. Richardson

    Allissa V. Richardson is an assistant professor of journalism at the USC Annenberg. She researches how marginalized communities use mobile and social media to produce innovative forms of journalism — especially in times of crisis. Richardson is the author of Bearing Witness While Black, which explores the lives of 15 mobile journalist-activists who documented the Black Lives Matter movement using only their smartphones and Twitter, from 2013 to 2017.

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    Mark Anthony Neal

    Mark Anthony Neal is Chair of the Department of African & African American Studies, James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of African and African American Studies,  and the founding director of the Center for Arts, Digital Culture and Entrepreneurship (CADCE) at Duke University. He offers courses on Black Masculinity, Popular Culture, and Digital Humanities, including signature courses on Michael Jackson & the Black Performance Tradition, and The History of Hip-Hop. He is the author of several books and hosts the video webcast Left of Black, which is produced in collaboration with the John Hope Franklin Center at Duke.