• The Power and Precariousness of Black Women’s Digital Self-representation in Britain

    Author(s):
    Francesca Sobande (see profile)
    Date:
    2019
    Subject(s):
    Black Atlantic studies, Black diaspora, Black feminist theory, Black popular culture, Digital communication
    Item Type:
    Conference paper
    Conf. Title:
    The Power and Precariousness of Black Women’s Digital Self-representation in Britain
    Conf. Org.:
    University of Maryland, College Park
    Conf. Loc.:
    University of Maryland, College Park
    Conf. Date:
    18-20 October 2018
    Tag(s):
    aadhum2018
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/eg4p-0620
    Abstract:
    How are the lives of Black women in Britain shaped by social and digital media? In what ways has their online labour influenced mass-media, marketing and cultural production? Why do Black women in Britain (dis)engage with, and from, digital spaces? Such questions remain under-explored, and yet, are in need of addressing at a point in time when Black women are increasingly regarded as digital trendsetters, whilst also being erased as the original creators of much media content and commentary. Based on analysis of 23 interviews, as well as recent online content created by and depicting Black women in Britain, this paper explores both the power and precariousness of their digital self-representation and online resistant efforts. Building upon studies of Black media spectatorship, collective organising and digital spheres, this work examines how Black women in Britain are representing themselves online; including in ways that can leave them vulnerable to harassment and corporate co-optation of their digital contributions. This paper features discussion of how omnipresent commercial influences affect the online experiences of Black women in Britain, such as by stimulating digital self-branding strategies on platforms including YouTube, in addition to dissuading individuals from fuelling their online visibility for fear of it aiding marketers’ agendas. As part of such conversations, this paper looks at how African American digital and popular culture intersects with the media production and spectatorship of Black women in Britain, who in carving out their own online narratives often connect to Black digital diasporic images and ideas stemming from the US.
    Metadata:
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    6 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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