Welcome to the conversation!

Welcome to the conversation!

Harriet Beecher Stowe's (1811-1896) best-selling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), made her the most famous American woman of the 19th century and galvanized the abolition movement before the Civil War.

The Stowe Center is a 21st-century museum and program center using Stowe's story to inspire social justice and positive change.

The Salons at Stowe programs are a forum to connect the challenging issues (race, gender and class) that impelled Stowe to write and act with the contemporary face of those same issues. The Salon format is based on a robust level of audience participation, with the explicit goal of promoting civic engagement. Recent topics included: Teaching Acceptance; Is Prison the New Slavery; Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North; Creativity and Change; Race, Gender and Politics Today; How to be an Advocate

This blog will expand the reach of these community conversations to the online audience. Add your posts and comments to keep the conversation going! Commit to action by clicking HERE to stay up to date on Salon and social justice news.

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Friday, January 9, 2015

The Merits of "Hashtag Activism"

In "Hashtag Activism Isn't a Cop-Out," writer Noah Berlasky interviews Deray Mckesson, a leading organizer around issues of police brutality, on modems of the 21-century protest. Though often critiqued as a crutch and pacifying element of protest movements, social media, specifically Twitter, has worked to galvanize individuals across the country to create bottom-up, strategic movements to combat the killing of unarmed black men. On the role of Twitter, McKesson articulates "Missouri would have convinced you that we did not exist if it were not for social media. The intensity with which they responded to protestors very early—we were able to document that and share it quickly with people in a way that we never could have without social media. We were able to tell our own stories."

Mckesson continues outlining the collective nature of the Ferguson protests: "Ferguson exists in a tradition of protest. But what is different about Ferguson, or what is important about Ferguson, is that the movement began with regular people. There was no Martin, there was no Malcolm, there was no NAACP, it wasn't the Urban League. People came together who didn't necessarily know each other, but knew what they were experiencing was wrong. And that is what started this. What makes that really important, unlike previous struggle, is that—who is the spokesperson? The people. The people, in a very democratic way, became the voice of the struggle."

Protesters stage a 'Die-In" at Grand Central in NYC

What do you think of "hashtag activism"? Does it create easier avenues for individuals to organize? Does it help propel collective, bottom-up movements? Do you partake in "hashtag activism"? If so, let us know!       

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