On December 10, Journalism scholar Allissa V. Richardson (Bearing Witness While Black: African Americans, Smartphones and the New Protest #Journalism) discussed empowering marginalized communities to tell their own stories, in conversation with UVA media studies professor Meredith Clark. Richardson’s research centers on how African Americans use mobile and social media to produce innovative forms of journalism, especially in times of crisis. Bearing Witness While Black explores the lives of fifteen mobile journalist-activists who documented the Black Lives Matter movement using only their smartphones and Twitter, from 2014 to 2018.
“Allissa Richardson’s impeccably researched book provides an eye-opening account of how African American citizen-journalists have harnessed the power of cell phones and social media to document the deeply entrenched nature of anti-Black racism in the U.S. Impeccably researched and engagingly written, Bearing Witness While Black raises the bar for studying how ordinary people work for social justice in their everyday lives.” ―Patricia Hill Collins, author of Intersectionality as Critical Social Theory
This program is part of the “Democracy and the Informed Citizen” initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils. The initiative seeks to deepen the public’s knowledge and appreciation of the vital connections between democracy, the humanities, journalism, and an informed citizenry.