In this short essay, I analyze a poem and performance that I wrote as a part of the Opening Session for the 2017 National Communication Association annual convention. In the poem, which is a response to and inspired by Ed Mabrey's “The Libretto of the Opera: Death of a Black Boy,” I take us through a day on social media and the news cycle after a Black boy has been murdered by police officers. The poem illuminates dangerous social media responses centered in whiteness post-Black death in the United States. In the essay, I explicate my process for writing this performance—centering the need for reflexivity instead of white guilt so that white people can do clearly antiracist work. I end by focusing on academia's potential for leaving a stronger and more positive legacy.
Our Legacy Needs To Be Better: Notorious White Responses after Ed Mabrey's Poem “The Libretto of the Opera: Death of a Black Boy”
Miranda Dottie Olzman is a PhD student in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Denver. I would like to thank Amber Johnson and Javon Johnson for organizing the Opening Session of the 2017 National Communication Association annual convention and inviting me to be on it. Correspondence to: Miranda Dottie Olzman, Department of Communication Studies, Sturm Hall, Room 200, University of Denver, 2000 E. Asbury Avenue, Denver, CO 80208, USA. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Miranda Dottie Olzman; Our Legacy Needs To Be Better: Notorious White Responses after Ed Mabrey's Poem “The Libretto of the Opera: Death of a Black Boy”. Departures in Critical Qualitative Research 1 December 2018; 7 (4): 187–191. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/dcqr.2018.7.4.187
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