The creative (and magical) possibilities of digital Black girlhood

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Date

2016-05

Authors

Barner, Briana Nicole

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Abstract

Images of Black women in the media have relied on hurtful stereotypes that have traveled through time and space to be mapped onto the bodies of generations of Black women. The hashtag #BlackGirlMagic turns this dynamic on its head and gives Black girls and women a new vocabulary to combat this form of oppression in the media. The act of creating hashtags that can be shared, blogged and inserted into real and digital conversations and spaces is an act of resistance. Activism no longer solely takes place in physical space. This research will examine the ways that Black women have used digital and new media to provide counter narratives of their representations in traditional media. I will examine the ways that the hashtag #BlackGirlMagic has been used across social media platforms (mainly Twitter, but also Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr). This work will also explore the creative possibilities and potentials within digital Black girlhood studies. I am interested in exploring the fluidity of Black girlhood and womanhood, and how this is being explored in digital spaces, such as the popularity of the #BlackGirlMagic by both adult women and Black girls. These spaces allow Black women the freedom to reimagine their own Black girlhood. This work will utilize Black feminist, hip hop feminist, Black girlhood studies and hashtag activism theoretical frameworks to analyze the implications of this hashtag in the representation of Black women and girls on the Internet.

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