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Chapter 6 Can You Hear Me Now? How #ShareTheMicNow used Dialogue and Collaboration to Amplify the Voices of Black Women

Candice Edrington

Abstract

The first half of 2020 proved to be very busy as Americans were forced to tackle two pandemics: COVID-19 and racism. While COVID-19 began in other countries before making its way to the U.S., the racial injustices that were taking place in the United States sparked unprecedented protests around the globe. The stay-at-home orders established due to the COVID-19 pandemic forced citizens to not only take a break, but to take inventory of the harsh realizations lived by African Americans every day. Three deaths of unarmed Black people (Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd) over the span of a few months prompted a resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement both online and offline. Although the deaths of Arbery and Floyd received much attention from the media, Taylor’s death was not publicized nearly as much. The lack of media attention surrounding Taylor’s death, in comparison to both Arbery and Floyd, illuminated the intersectional invisibility of Black women and their voices. Created for the purpose of amplifying the voices of Black women, Bozoma Saint John initiated the #SharetheMicNow campaign. This campaign suggested that relationships between White women of power and Black women are a step in the right direction in the fight for social justice. The goal of this chapter is to highlight how White women of celebrity stature allowed Black women activists and celebrities to take over their Instagram accounts for a day to discuss their social justice efforts and to share how others could get involved. Using a case study approach, this chapter will seek to reveal how the #SharetheMicNow campaign used technology to promote dialogue and collaboration during a time of heightened awareness of racial injustice.

© 2022 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston
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