Free the Jena Six! presents a case study of mass black protest emerging in 2007 after six black teenagers were criminally prosecuted for the injury of a white student at their high school in Jena, Louisiana. At its height, the protests mobilized tens of thousands of people—most of them black—in an explicit challenge to contemporary racism. Revisiting the indigenous perspective proposed by sociologist Aldon Morris in Origins of the Civil Rights Movement, this project argues that the Jena Six protests emerged from pre-existing bases of power within black communities. Moreover, in-depth exploration of strategic framing, the novel role of Internet-based organizing, and everyday uses of new technology reveals how this collective action both extends established traditions of black protest and bears the marks of a distinctly digitizing age.
Interdisciplinary analysis of data drawn from web content, in-depth interviews with movement participants, media coverage and organizational records reveals the dynamics of the emergent collective actor. Free the Jena Six! argues centrally that the affirmative and often subversive technological imaginations and praxis of black folks creates a latent potential for mass participatory direct action. Free the Jena Six! addresses lacunae at the intersections of technology studies, social movement studies, and studies of race and racism toward a more sustained analysis of race, power, and technology in the black experience.
|Advisor:||Nelson, Alondra, Eyerman, Ron|
|School Location:||United States -- Connecticut|
|Source:||DAI-A 75/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||African American Studies, Sociology|
|Keywords:||African-American, Civil rights, Internet, Louisiana, Protest, Race, Technology|
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