Digital Storytelling as Activism: An Analysis of Trayvon Martin's Narrative on Facebook

By Paula Youra and Agatha Rule.

Published by Journal of Technologies and Human Usability

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: May 26, 2015 $US5.00

The case of the State of Florida vs. George Michael Zimmerman has proven to be media fire storm for race relations in the United States. On April 11, 2012 Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch coordinator for a gated community, shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17 year old who was not in the commission of a crime. A personal narrative of Martin was subsequently posted on various forms of social media. Digital storytelling is now a globally recognized media practice of producing digital narratives which combine "hyper short, personally narrated multimedia fragments" designed to stimulate dialogue around marginalized issues for narrowly defined audiences (Alexandra 2008 and Kaare 2012). This study finds that the story contained in the Martin narrative functions as activism and reveals the polarized perspectives surrounding Martin’s killing. Theoretical tenets from genres in Digital Storytelling and Narrative Paradigm (Fisher 1984) are used to analyze the use of digital storytelling as an argument stratagem to bring awareness to racial profiling.

Keywords: Digital, Storytelling, Activism

Journal of Technologies and Human Usability, Volume 11, Issue 2, June 2015, pp.11-21. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: May 26, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.474MB)).

Dr. Paula Youra

Professor, Communication Studies, Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, Virginia, USA

Agatha Rule

Instructor, Communication Studies, Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, Virginia, USA