Date of Award
#BlackLivesMatter has been an active social movement for racial justice since 2014. Although the #BlackLivesMatter movement has been fueled by social media through hashtag activism from its conception, the COVID-19 global pandemic has been particularly influential in the rise of digital activism at large, as many people have been confined to their homes during quarantine. This mixed methods study describes and evaluates how the knowledge creation of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) is appropriated, decentralized, or delegitimized in the #BlackLivesMatter movement by white allies on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This study is influenced by standpoint theory given that this research was conducted by a self-identified white ally whose personal experiences have influenced this topic through self-reflection of individual shortcomings in allyship practices. Through the collection and analysis of closed- and open-ended survey questions, this research presents a descriptive account of the downfalls of performative allyship on social media – some of which include the spreading of misinformation or limited engagement, as results have shown. Performative allyship is defined as “referring to someone from a nonmarginalized group professing support and solidarity with a marginalized group, but in a way that is not helpful” (Kalina 478). A mixed methods study on this topic is needed because the frequency in which posts from white allies occur compared to their BIPOC counterparts as well as the content of said posts is relevant in both the identification and future prevention of the problem at hand.
McClanahan, Aerianna, "The Downfalls of Performative White Allyship on Social Media in the #BlackLivesMatter Movement" (2021). Munn Scholars Awards. 7.