The New Era of Black Activism

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The Atlantic agrees

In my last post, I concluded with a pretty grim remark on the future of Black activism. In this one, I’ll be talking about this sort of new era of activism among Black youth. The protests, movements, and overall rebellious activities that Black millennials have been initiating or participating in have been dubbed as the new era for two major reasons (besides the difference in time period): Black millennials, and new platforms. Although, some may also want to add the fact that they are tackling “new” issues, the true reasons are what I previously listed. Why do I consider them to be the major ones? It’s simple: because these two factors dominate the foundation of this new era and ultimately determine how far protesting and action can go on any issue.

Black millennials. They are the forerunners of the many movements and projects created. While not all are creators, they have a powerful influence on the creations themselves. Why is that? For many reasons that cover many different fields! Scientifically (more so socially), young adults and the youth in general tend to be observed by older people when trying to determine what is cool or “in.” Socially, these young Black Americans have different perspectives, lifestyles, and means of spreading the word compared to activists during the Civil Rights Movement, or previous movements concerning people of color. Lastly, in financial terms, since consumers from ages 18-30 (or around that range) have disposable income, or better yet more buying power, they can determine where their money goes or does not go. While Black consumers within that range may not be considered a factor in marketing or revenue, it still does play a major role (think Gods of Egypt). Equal in influence are the new platforms being used by Black activists to enhance or advance the movements they are a part of. The new platforms can be simplified to one well-known term: social media.

Social media has played a major role for a simple reason: it achieves mass communication. By utilizing different types of media (Instagram, YouTube, Google +, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Reddit, and more), the largest group of users (millennials) are able to amass a gathering of people who have different preferences when it comes to social media. One popular, growing, and fundamental movement of the decade, the #BlackLivesMatter movement, was largely fueled (in terms of growth) by the combined strength of Black young adults using social media to spread, defend, and uphold the fact that Black lives matter. Since then, other movements have been reignited or birthed and as a result of this force and has been able to reach other countries (like #BlackLivesMatter has). There are now a plethora of hashtags and trending topics that promote awareness of and in the Black community, so many that I’ll be able to discuss them in my next post.


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