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Screening Black Lives Matter: on-screen discourses, distortions, and depictions of Black Lives Matter

Sobande, Francesca 2021. Screening Black Lives Matter: on-screen discourses, distortions, and depictions of Black Lives Matter. Feminist Media Studies 21 (5) , pp. 853-856. 10.1080/14680777.2021.1944893
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The proliferation of popular culture depictions of Black Lives Matter (BLM) yields questions about media and marketing professionals’ (mis)use of representations and rhetoric associated with social justice movements, and, more precisely, Black activism. This commentary is titled “Screening Black Lives Matter” in an attempt to: 1) reflect on how BLM has been re-mediated and re-presented on screen in mainstream media and popular culture, and 2) consider who and what is typically excluded (“screened out”) from such images, narratives, and media production processes. Make no mistake about it, inclusion in anti-Black institutions, including media organizations and industry discourse, is far from being a liberationist goal. However, reflecting on who and what is foregrounded in on-screen depictions and discourses related to BLM in TV and film can contribute to important understandings of how Black social justice organizing is typically framed in contemporary mainstream media in ways that distort the reality of activism, such as by sidelining the work of Black LGBTQ+ people and diminishing or denying the radical politics at the core of such collective and transformative efforts. What does all of this suggest about the relationship between media, marketing, and Black activism? This commentary considers such issues.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1468-0777
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 6 July 2021
Date of Acceptance: 14 June 2021
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2021 15:31

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