Jules argues that social media has been crucial for documenting and disseminating social activism, especially for Black communities. After the Watts Rebellion’s 50th anniversary, Jules decided to research how much primary material about specific rebellions were available; the results, not surprisingly, were slim. For the digital #BlackLivesMatter collection that Jules helped spearhead, which was also the beginning of the Documenting the Now initiative, they archived almost 45 million Tweets to document and preserve primary source documents about police encounters. The problem with recording these images, Tweets, videos, and other documenting materials, though, is surveillance culture may put advocates and people who show up to rebellions at risk. Based on a talk presented at Diversity in the Archives: Preserving Ephemeral Activist Culture, Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Libraries.
See also “Introducing Documenting the Now“, Ed Summers.