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The Revolution Will Not Be Brought To You by IBM: A Return to the Historical Roots of Internet Afro-Pessimism

With Charlton McIlwain
8 Feb 2018
With Charlton McIlwain
Filming venue:

Oxford Internet Institute, 1 St Giles’, Oxford, OX1 3JS

Black Lives Matter activists marshaled the Internet and other digital media tools to produce the most visible, vociferous, concentrated, and persistent demonstration of racial justice activism since the 1960s. The movement’s success lead many to herald hope that the Internet, and its connected tools, possess the mediating power to galvanize the next front in the long civil rights movement. Others remain skeptical. I argue in my presentation that the ethos underpinning this pessimism has less to do with the medium itself, than it does with black people’s historical and persistent relationship with computing.



Charlton McIlwain

Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University

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