A talk by André Brock, associate professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication, was written up by Technique on Sept. 27, 2020.
Brock spoke on Sept. 14 via BlueJeans video call about his book Distributed Blackness: African American Cybercultures, which was published in February by New York University Press. He coverede topics such as the use of online spaces to "recover from brutality" and the expression of "Black joy" on social media.
In describing Black techno-culture, Dr. Brock stresses that it needs to include the every-day, the mundane. The discussion of racism doesn’t make up all of Black culture, nor should Black culture reflect one subset of itself.
“Social justice activism isn’t all of Black discourse. We’re not all angry Black Lives Matter gangbangers,” he said. Instead, Black digital space is, or should be, a celebration of regular life. Explaining further, Brock said that the “white belief in rationalism and logic that excludes Black subjectivity objectifies the world they find themselves in.” These platforms should reflect the whole person each user was “before the police hailed them over.”
The medium of Twitter or the like affords a safe space to recover from brutality and to grow. Online, the space is not limited by in-person racism. Rather, it is a place where each user can freely express a point of view and “be a point that is viewed.”