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Education, Citizenship, and Social Justice

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Social media, Digital storytelling -- Social aspects, Black people -- Attitudes, Social justice, Teaching diversity


As protests flared in 2020, Black students took to Instagram to voice their experiences at ‘no-excuses’ Charter Management Organizations (CMOs). Such schools have presented a discourse of high achievement and social justice. Yet, in the span of a few weeks, hundreds of posts on Instagram offered rarely heard counter-narratives of the experience of being a student of Color at such schools. This paper analyzes how social media posts combine online discourse and youth culture to provide insight into the racialized experience of schooling. We show how these posts created distinct visual signatures, co-opted the well-crafted narratives of CMOs, and took advantage of features like comments and hashtags to foster solidarity and authenticity. We argue this social movement challenges the legitimacy of CMOs and their authority to teach children of Color.


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