“Where We Are, Resistance Lives”: Black Women, Social Media, and Everyday Resistance in Higher Education

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Terah J. Stewart


The discourse about activism (and problematic conflations with resistance) typically offer comparisons to the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement, examine first and second wave feminism, and situate apathy and fatigue as opposite from resistance. Using a qualitative research design (Merriam, 2009; 2002), Black feminist thought (Collins, 1990), and endarkened feminist epistemology (Dillard, 2006); this study examined the experience of 6 collegiate Black women and their resistance through engagement of the hashtag, #BlackGirlMagic. Specifically, the inquiry explored how and why participants used the hashtag and investigated connections that give nuance to activism and resistance through community building, digital counterspace creation, and connections to higher education broadly. Findings include how participants conceptualize and define resistanceand how #BlackGirlMagic serves as one way they can and do engage in resistance; and the author explores relevant implications for colleges and universities.

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