Transgressive Networks: This Week in Blackness and Resistance through Online Programming

Sarah Florini

Abstract


This paper explores the dynamics of power and resistance surrounding the independent online media network $2 (TWiB). Created by Elon James White, $2 is comprised of six podcasts covering a diverse range of topics, an active blog, and a fully functioning social networking site. White and his co-hosts L. Joy Williams and Aaron Rand Freeman, collectively nicknamed Team Blackness, have gained visibility in the progressive media world and have cultivated a substantial online audience. Despite this, $2 has had difficulty connecting with other media outlets or finding sponsors to support their work. I argue that this is because $2 ’s programming embraces a diverse, heterogeneous, and internally contradictory understanding of “Blackness” that makes it largely incompatible with existing media production and consumption paradigms even in online and independent media spaces.

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