African Americans have endured marginalization related to racial and cultural disparities. #LivingWhileBlack has become a unique repository of all related experiences that Black people are encountering, while performing every day, seemingly mundane tasks and activities. The #LivingWhileBlack hashtag went viral on Twitter (https://twitter.com/), allowing users, including Black Twitter (https://twitter.com/), to use the international platform to share their own Black story and experience. The three research questions that were explored included the following. First: How are profiling events related to #LivingWhileBlack events documented, reported and expressed by Social Media Users? Second: How are others/people using Twitter (https://twitter.com/); affected by various incidences and/or coverage of #LivingWhileBlack, using Twitter (https://twitter.com/) to express their views? And last: What are some of the impacts of #LivingWhileBlack? This research design of this study is concurrent mixed-methods with content analysis of Twitter (https://twitter.com/) posts, and interviews with an exploratory process and racial profiling using: Framing theory, Critical Race Theory, and the social media framework. The quantitative data was analyzed via content analysis of Twitter (https://twitter.com) posts hashtagged #LivingWhileBlack, as well as the qualitative thematic analysis of interview responses. Saturation and quota sampling methods were used to gather five Twitter (https://twitter.com) posts from four key categories throughout 2018 which included two events in each of the four sections: the working category (waiting for a friend at Starbuck event and selling bottled water event), for the shopping category (shopping for prom and couponing while Black event), the leisure category (included barbequing at a park and leaving an Airbnb event), and last, for the serious harm and loss of life category (focused on the killings of Black men Stephon Clark in Oakland, California and Botham Jean in Dallas, Texas). Findings led to three conclusions. First, social media users adopt a Twitter (https://twitter.com) platform, for users to document, report, share stories, express emotion and reveal personal experiences with #LivingWhileBlack. Second, people using Twitter (https://twitter.com) are personally affected while expressing their views. Third, there are several impacts of #LivingWhileBlack use were discovered including encouragement to share, support, discuss, and vent. Implications include sharing the #LivingWhileBlack hashtag, and future research include analyzing the #LivingWhileBlack hashtag from international users.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

African Americans -- Communication; African Americans -- Social networks; Racism -- United States

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Paul Sparks