The Hashtag as a New Genre: #BlackLivesMatter (Portfolio)
Deborah Kadiri, Spring 2016

Director: Lucille McCarthy
Committee Member: James Early

The evolution of the civil rights movement into today’s #BlackLivesMatter movement exemplifies the chaos and discomfort associated with the redefinition not only of terms but also of concepts, ideologies, and beliefs regarding race relations. The rise of social media as a primary platform for communication is largely responsible for the rapid growth of the community supporting and propelling #BlackLivesMatter. This study explores the hashtag as a new genre that lies at the heart of this shift from classic to contemporary ideologies and from classic to contemporary methods of communicating.

Kadiri revised content from her portfolio for a book chapter entitled, “Social Media Meets Social Justice: The Role of the Hashtag in the Contemporary Conversation on Race,” published in Critical Insights: Civil Rights Literature, Past & Present (Salem 2017); it is featured by the publisher as a sample from the larger volume.