Racism and Resistance in the Digital Age with Dr. Robert Eschmann

In today’s episode, you’ll meet Dr. Robert Eschmann, a writer, scholar, filmmaker, and educator from Chicago. He is an Associate Professor of Social Work and a member of the Data Science Institute at Columbia University, as well as a Faculty Associate at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. His new book, *When the Hood Comes Off: Racism and Resistance in the Digital Age* is a comprehensive study of how racism manifests online and it highlights the antiracist tactics rising to oppose racism.

 “Students online feel much more comfortable challenging micro-aggressions, talking back to micro-aggressions. This is a communal project. It's a collective project, so it's never the responsibility of one person to speak out, but if anyone in the community has the energy that day, then they're able to support everyone by saying ‘no thank you’ to these harmful interactions.”
 - Dr. Robert Eschmann

Black Twitter

Black Twitter is a community where, in Dr. Eschmann’s words, “Black folk get together and perform Blackness online, challenging racism and highlighting ways that racism is pervasive in society. Another part of that is just collectively enjoying popular culture.”

Yuza Farzan, writing in *The Guardian*, called Black Twitter a form of Black witnessing. Farzan calls up the tradition of Ida B Wells, a founder of the NAACP and a civil rights activist, who documented and compiled white violence against Black Americans, including more than 10,000 lynchings. “Much like how Black Twitter works today, the Black press has historically provided a counter-narrative when white media institutions failed to condemn injustices against Black people and, in some instances, even incited violence,” Farzan wrote. 

Allissa Richardson, author of *Bearing Witness While Black*, was quoted in the Guardian article. “Black activists always knew that they were never wed to one particular platform to get the message out. I think that’s the beauty of Black witnessing, is that it hacks any social network that it needs to at the time to get the word out.”  

Creators and Guests

Dr. Robert Eschmann
Dr. Robert Eschmann
Author of When the Hood Comes Off, Racism and Resistance in the Digital Age
Racism and Resistance in the Digital Age with Dr. Robert Eschmann
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