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Greg McVerry

Excited for #HipHopEd Tonight

2 min read

Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/BKBr_DiD79l/

I am looking forward to lurking on tonight. I learn a lot on this chat as I listen. I am drawn to spaces of literacy scholars where words and meaning are seen first as tools of both agency and oppression. Tonight I will be looking forward to curating inspirational quotes.

Our GearUp work with students of color often revolve around the teaching and learning of digital literacies and pedagogies. We have created digital art, written letters to the next president, examined website credibility and created memes.

It is this last element that has me most interested in today's chat. I use memes as a method to include the basics of HTML. It is a the language of HTML using the discourses of youth. Fun stuff. I encourage everyone tonight to try one.

There is so much talk about the diversity problem in tech. This is not just an industry problem or a pipeline problem. It is a societal problem. We are creating a new era of digital imperialism. The segregation of our digital spaces is often much stronger than the analog world.

There are issues of access. Technology simply does not exist in many our poorest communities. Families are often on shifting data plans and pushing up aganist their limit. Mobile first can not be the only solution. In the suburbs big chains offer free wifi. The same chains like McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts post no loitering signs.

There are issues of equity. Based on recent PEW reports students of color have more screen time than their white peers. Yet the quality of the screen and the activity differs greatly. Yet no where are are computers used more for non-creative activity such as testing and remediation than our schools. I have bumped up against this myself when pushing for greater web literacy in schools. Its ths common reframe, "but have you seen there reing scores? I can't spend time on tech."

Newsflash. Tech is how we read and write. It is literacy. No where is this demonstrated more than in places like . Scholars, musicians, activists and artists gather around a cause and use our words to make the world a better place.

So make a meme tonight with an inspirational quote. Then encourage someone else to do the same. Lift the curtain to how tech and code work.

Greg McVerry

Should We Share Racially Tinged Memes? #HipHopEd #literacies.

2 min read

We love to laugh at them. Writers parody them in theme songs and television. Yet I wonder are we laughing at the individuals or drawing humor from a deep well of intentional and hidden bias?

I am talking about memes featuring people of color who do not come from affluent backgrounds. They usually act in grandiose ways speaking local dialects that would not be recognized as standard academic English. The most famous being:

This video, with over 62 million views sparked it all for me . I won't lie. I even had the auto-tune version as a ring tone for a minute. This video went so far it served as the inspiration behind the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt theme song.

Then earlier this week we saw the explosion of "Ain't Nobody Got Time for That"

The original video is over three years old, and it took off recently.

Do we have a responsibility to not share these videos?

Laughing at uneducated black people is nothing new.

I just wonder is it as racist now as it was with Mammy Two Shoes?

Are we simply putting a digital jocko to welcome you to our online front doors when we share these memes? The auto-tuned voices no different than the exaggerated white features painted on to dark skin.

Greg McVerry

Participatory Culture in a Networked Era #digiwrimo

3 min read

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