Black activism has come a long way. The love of our kinky hair, curves, melanin and overall swag has been bringing Black folks together since the 1960s, when movements seeking civil rights and fostering black pride made the country take notice. In 2015, “blacktivism” on social media has been the gathering place that allows people to build a greater voice and power throughout the nation. The rallying cries of the past (“We shall overcome” and “Black power!”) have become the hashtags of today, unifying followers on Twitter and Facebook through BLACKLIVESMATTER” and “#ICAN’TBREATHE” while keeping our nation informed — and on its toes. Young people use social media as an effective way to impact, educate and flaunt what it means to be Black in today’s society. And though these hashtags emerged from tragedies (RIP Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Laquan McDonald and so many others), they have created a necessary outlet for youth to speak our minds about issues we care about. We haven’t always gotten the outcome that we wanted, but social media kept attention on the injustices, and that’s critical. It’s given “power to the people” by letting our voices be heard. Keep listening.
by Jinnah Alim, Jones College Prep