#Blacknessbelike: White Racial Framing and Counter-Framing on Twitter’s Digitally-Contested Cyberspace


Department of Sociology

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 10-2017


The authors draw on Joe R. Feagin’s white racial and home-culture(s)/resistance frames to examine digitally constructed blackness on social media. They juxtapose the use of Twitter as a tool of resistance for those protesting police brutality and as a tool for those using narratives of black criminality to perpetuate specific aspects of systemic racism. Drawing on frontstage and backstage dynamics of racism and the construction of racial narratives, the chapter critiques the historical and contemporary manifestations of the white racial framing of black bodies and cultural products on social media, while detailing how this historical and contemporary framing presents white cultural appropriation as signs of racial progress, not white entitlement. The authors conclude with suggestions for resistance.


This publication is a chapter in the book Systemic Racism: Making Liberty, Justice, and Democracy Real. Edited by Ruth Thompson-Miller and Kimberley Ducey