Social media has played a pivotal role in the development of social justice movements, particularly Black Lives Matter. Can you talk about some of the ways technology has impacted activism and differences between today’s black activism and the civil rights movement?
Social media is an organizing tool. So, people [from] far reaches of the country and the globe now know they have allies with whom they can connect. Imagine if Martin Luther King Jr. had access to Twitter—the movement he would have been able to create. Today activists are able to tell their story, organize, and bring people together to demand action; that’s transformative. There are certainly differences between 20th and 21st century movements. 21st century movements tend to be more decentralized; there are fewer recognizable national leaders. They are more networked. But I think when we look back a decade or two, at the Black Lives Matter movement, we’ll see that there were a cadre of leaders, just as there were in the previous civil rights movement. We’ll see that there were people who exerted tremendous personal courage and leadership, and were the glue that held these movements together.
The event was held at the Harbor View Hotel, Edgartown Room, 131 North Water Street, in scenic Martha’s Vineyard. To learn more about The Opportunity Agenda visit www.opportunityagenda.org.