We Are (Not) Here to Teach You: Talking Race and Racism on Tumblr

Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type


Terms of Use

© 2016 Tania Uruchima. All rights reserved. This work is freely available courtesy of the author. It may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Educational Studies Department, Sociology & Anthropology Department

First Advisor

Edwin Mayorga

Second Advisor

Nina Johnson


Scholars have been increasingly optimistic regarding how young people of color push back against mainstream racial discourses using social media tools. However, young people on the micro-blogging site Tumblr who do so are heavily criticized by other young people for engaging in ways seen as superficial, too emotional, and even hostile towards white people. In my thesis, I look at over 50 race-themed blogs, supplemented with interviews with blog moderators to see why their conversations are so controversial. Ultimately, I argue that these race-themed blogs are, for people of color primarily, community-oriented instructional spaces that critique damaging racial narratives. Further, the conversational themes reflect a collective action mindset, though youth are already taking action to transform this platform to support communities of people of color.

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