Languages of Liberation: Digital Discourses of Emphatic Blackness

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


From the deeply esoteric to the easily translatable, the language of black social media is frequently used for veritable acts of protest. The following pages explore such uses of identifiably black, and often “unrespectable,” language (African American English, Jamaican Patois, Ghanaian Pidgin, racialized youth slangs, etc.) and examine how these uses employ verbal and visual texts to affirm the value of black bodies, minds, and hearts through productions of sincere and “emphatic blackness” which I define as widely recognizable and emphasized racialized practices. The analysis demonstrates how these linguistic and discursive acts of protest, whether through indirect humor or very direct censure, collectively fashion black public space where black voices and lives indubitably matter.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLanguage and Social Justice in Practice
EditorsNetta Avineri, Laura R. Graham, Eric J. Johnson, Robin Conley Riner, Jonathan Rosa
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781315115702
ISBN (Print)9781138069442
StatePublished - Dec 12 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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