Black Social Media Use and Discrimination: Sites of Oppression and Expression

Friday, 20 July 2018: 15:45
Oral Presentation
Gabe MILLER, Texas A&M University, USA
Guadalupe MARQUEZ-VELARDE, Texas A&M University, USA
Apryl WILLIAMS, Susquehanna University, USA
Verna KEITH, Texas A&M University, USA
This study investigates the association between self-reported experiences of discrimination and social media usage among African American adults. Experiences of discrimination were assessed using a 10-question scale of self-reported discrimination encounters. Data analysis was based on a sample of 220 African American adult respondents residing in Texas. Results indicate that African Americans reporting higher levels of discrimination utilize social media sites more frequently than those who report lower levels of discrimination. In addition, African Americans who experience higher levels of discrimination are more likely to have a Twitter or Facebook account than those who experience lower levels of discrimination. Together, these findings suggest that social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook serve as sites of expression for people of color to air their grievances, find community, and cope with offline forms of racism and discrimination.