From Books to Hashtags

Despite the differences in their backgrounds, the common theme among all three of their stories is the way in which the anger, frustration and pain caused by the oppression they had to live through led them to take extreme measures or, like in the case of Mae, to extreme consequences. Whether it was Frederick Douglas’ drive to educate himself, despite being aware of the consequences that it could have had the master found out , or Yglesius’ willingness to sacrifice his job during a time where people were desperate just to make end meet, so he wouldn’t be denied his right to listen to his favorite authors, they were determined to risk it all in order to fight back against those who they felt were stripping away their humanity by treating them as if they were below others. In the tragic case of Mae, the sheer weight of knowing the way that others would keep on treating her as sub-human, even if she was to get the best education for herself,  just because of her skin color led to her early death as caused by the sadness and stress brought onto her when she came to the realization.

In more recent times, technology has allowed for those who have these built up feelings caused by the lack of a sense of equality among others to come together more easily in masses and connect with others in order to fight back against those who feel are oppressing them. In the case of Occupy Wall Street to take a recent example, the use of social media allowed for unfiltered access to the information of everything that was going on and even provided the spark that kickstarted the movement through the use of a simple hashtag. Having those who are feeling oppressed have access to tools to these tools can help the rest of society have a greater sense of what their fellow people are going through and awareness to the extremes to which these people are willing to go fighting for it. By having technology serve as an additional way to let this information be spread, those who are fighting for their sense of equality are able to have access to these tools that Douglas, Mae and Yglesius were unable to have.


1 comment
  1. The Hashtag example is fascinating! I liked this from the original article, “Social media experts trace the expansion to hyper-local tweeters, people who cover the pulse of communities at a level of detail not even local papers can match.” Reminds me of the writers in “Style Wars”.

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