BY OCTAVIAN ROBINSON
Imagine this: In 1963, the March on Washington attracted more than 200,000 people from all backgrounds. They packed the National Mall from one end to another.
|March on Washington, 1963|
This image, shown everywhere on the television and in print media, evoked a powerful message of widespread solidarity for the civil rights and economic equality of African-Americans. This image had a powerful impact on public opinion and proved the power of mass appeal.
In this day and age, anyone with Internet access can participate in mass movements to call for social justice and civil rights.
With Social Media, we can inspire the same powerful imagery. Every click on “like” on Facebook, YouTube, every retweet, one line postings on Facebook and Twitter, blogs, vlogs, and publicly posted e-mails equates to a face.
The leadership and the powers that be who operate our media outlets see in their mind’s eye a person, a number, and dollar signs for every click, post, and tweet made.
Every hashtag, such as #captionThis, #endoneendall, every tweet and post on Facebook is the modern day equivalent of the banners and signs carried in past Civil Rights demonstrations. Be sure to use hashtags (#). Hashtags make sure that we are seen as a collective group.
|Deaf President Now, 1988|
But this depends on your participation. Make yourselves seen. Make yourselves heard.
Imagine if the National Mall was half-empty, would the message have been as powerful?
Imagine if only Greg Hlibok, Bridgetta Bourne-Firl, Tim Rarus, Jerry Covell and a handful of people showed up to confront Jane Spilman and Phil Bravin at the Mayflower Hotel, would the message have been as powerful?
Imagine if only a few people showed up at marches and protests, would their message be as powerful?
Take action. You don’t have to leave the comfort of your homes or abandon your day-to-day lives. Just pick up your smartphone or open your web browser from the comfort of your chair. Take a second to click like or retweet. Take a minute to type a post on Facebook or write a 140 character tweet. Share links on your Facebook.
Every. One. Of. You. Count. Let’s create our own modern-day March on Washington online!
ABOUT OCTAVIAN ROBINSON
Octavian Robinson is a PhD candidate working on the final stages of his dissertation about the deaf community's campaigns for citizenship during the early 20th century. His field of expertise is the expansion of citizenship in the United States and the advancement of civil rights for women, African-Americans, people with disabilities, and the American Deaf Community. When not writing, he basks under the Southern California sun with his four-legged sidekick and a pile of books.