In sticking with the theme of social media activism, my digital project is a fraternal twin to my print project proposed two weeks ago. Through the tools and guidance provided by the DocNow team, I plan to create a collection of social media activism revolving around the protection of Black queer and transgender lives.
The defense of Black queer and trans people is an affirmation of the movement, #BlackLivesMatter (BLM). The movement was founded as a call to action by three Black queer women who unapologetically use their platform to defend the lives of all Black groups, including those that are often dismissed by hetero-patriarchal Black liberation movements. This includes protecting the quality of life for Black women, Black queers, Black trans, Black disabled, Black undocumented, Black wrongfully imprisoned, and Black people stricken by a system that binds them to poverty. The movement’s mission is not ambiguous. The defense of Black queer and transgender people are not intentionally pushed aside for other causes. Yet, most discussion of archiving the social media presence of the #BlackLivesMatter movement is centered on the impact of the Trayvon Martin murder and protest against police brutality.
#Ferguson, #MichaelBrown, #TrayvonMarton, #FreddieGray, and other related hashtags centered on these cases are the most popular subjects of collections and datasets relating to #BlackLivesMatter. It makes sense. It was the murder of Trayvon Martin that prompted the founders of BLM to start the hashtag, now movement. It was the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri that escalated the movement from a social media presence to protestors hitting the pavement in massive droves. It was the murder of Freddie Gray that ignited the Baltimore Uprising. Millions participated in protests for these events both on social media and in the streets across the country. However, there is still a large presence of social media activism for Black queer and trans advocacy that is not receiving the same push for web archiving.
It’s important to archive all of the affirmations and activism led by the Black Lives Matter movement. Lack of web preservation for all the movement stands for will leave silences in the story that will prevent the very transformative social change the founders of BLM are pursuing. It’s the mission of this project to resolve the missing pieces in the collections and datasets about the impact of the BlackLivesMatter movement. Web content related to #BlackLivesMatter, #BlackWomenMatter, #BlackTransLivesMatter, #BlackTransMatter, #YouOKSis, and other hashtags focused on Black queer and trans advocacy will be added to pre-existing BLM collections and datasets, like Archive-It’s #BlackLivesMatter Collection
The DocNow platform will aid in not just finding preexisting BLM collections and datasets, but advertising the need for black queer and trans content. Remembering Bassem Masri is a model of how I plan to publicize a call for help in web archiving this content for #BlackLivesMatter. Using Medium/DocNow, this project will seek the attention of archivists, historians, scholars, activists, and the general public. It is my hope that the project can use this platform to gain contributions and amplify a call to action for more web archiving on Black queer and trans activism.
To be completely transparent, there are still many steps to this project that need to be ironed out. As a novice to digital preservation and illiterate in the language of coding, I plan to lean on the DocNow team’s expertise in assuring this project comes into fruition. DocNow is a groundbreaking resource for web archiving significant social media content. I have full faith that the DocNow platform is the ideal space to ignite more web archiving efforts for Black queer and trans activism and all of BLM’s principles.