Mobilizing Blackness: Analyzing 21st Century Black Student Collective Agency in the University

David Charles Turner
2020 Berkeley Review of Education  
Black student activism in the 21st century has gained international notoriety with popular movements such as #StudentBlackOut, #FeesMustFall, and #ConcernedStudent1950 (Alfonzo & Foust, 2019; Turner, 2016) . Between 2014 and 2017, Black students manipulated the momentum of a larger social movement-the Movement for Black Lives-in order to secure organizing victories for racial justice, both on and off their college campuses (Ransby, 2018; Williams, 2016) . In this article, I explore the
more » ... xplore the meaning-making processes of Black student activists who participated in on-campus or off-campus activism between 2014 and 2017. Themes from the interviews demonstrated that Black student activists were both politicized and entered movement organizing because of catalytic events, and that they saw themselves as resource brokers who funnel university resources, labor, and energy into dispossessed communities. In addition to arguing that participants used their racialized subjectivities to leverage resources and make changes for racial justice, I also assert that Black students were highly aware of their positionality; they raised critiques of their class-fluid positions as college students and the protections that their student identity provided them.
doi:10.5070/b810145321 fatcat:imlry4kncbchfczzcrdtiv5yiu