Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Can African-Americans Find Their Voice in Cyberspace?: A Conversation With Dayna Cunningham (Part Three of Four)

(Part 1.) (Part 2.)

Dayna Cunningham: Thank you for reminding me that we are talking about institutions and cultures and politics and that media are nothing more than tools within these contexts. We need social organizations, not just technology. Drat. I was hoping for a quick fix.

Can African-Americans Find Their Voice in Cyberspace?: A Conversation With Dayna Cunningham (Part Three of Four)

Dayna Cunningham: Thank you for reminding me that we are talking about institutions and cultures and politics and that media are nothing more than tools within these contexts. We need social organizations, not just technology. Drat. I was hoping for a quick fix.

I saw a Washington Post poll, reported on Inauguration Day, of black and white Americans asking their views on the persistence of racism in the US. Only 44% of African Americans polled said that racism is still a major problem. A majority of blacks said it was not (whites, true to past patterns, in large majorities said that racism is no longer a major problem). However, a follow up question asked whether the respondents still witnessed or experienced racism in their daily lives and a significant majority of African Americans said that little had changed for them in their local communities and in their daily experience of racism. Most blacks reported continuing denials of service and jobs, less access to housing, and racialized police harassment.

Can African-Americans Find Their Voice in Cyberspace?: A Conversation With Dayna Cunningham (Part Three of Four)

Dayna Cunningham: Thank you for reminding me that we are talking about institutions and cultures and politics and that media are nothing more than tools within these contexts. We need social organizations, not just technology. Drat. I was hoping for a quick fix.

I saw a Washington Post poll, reported on Inauguration Day, of black and white Americans asking their views on the persistence of racism in the US. Only 44% of African Americans polled said that racism is still a major problem. A majority of blacks said it was not (whites, true to past patterns, in large majorities said that racism is no longer a major problem). However, a follow up question asked whether the respondents still witnessed or experienced racism in their daily lives and a significant majority of African Americans said that little had changed for them in their local communities and in their daily experience of racism. Most blacks reported continuing denials of service and jobs, less access to housing, and racialized police harassment.

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Can African-Americans Find Their Voice in Cyberspace?: A Conversation With Dayna Cunningham (Part Two of Four)

(Part one.)

Henry Jenkins: Thanks for this really rich provocation, Dayna. These are questions which we need to be discussing as a society and they should be central to our understanding of "civic media," "social media," whatever we want to call it.

As a media scholar, my first response to any request to develop new "tools" is to ask what we are really looking for. As I review your language in the closing paragraph, you variously call for "media technology," "new spaces," "tools and platforms," "venues and mechanisms." This range of terms suggests the degree to which it is not easy to separate out technological resources from the cultural practices which grow up around them.

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