Race and the Digital: Racial Formation and 21st Century Technologies

One Seed at a Time

People living in the twenty-first century have the fortune to live in a time where location and time are but indicators of where one is, not indicators of what they are able to do. Although there still stigma experienced by non-white Americans in the United States, social media is a place where their own identity is definitely a technological tool they can utilize to pinpoint the matters of importance to them, essentially the matters that affect and impact their lives. Throughout the course of this project, it was very interesting to see how Twitter is an overall dominant presence in social movements. #GangstaGardener has its fair presence on this social media site, and thankfully in others such as Instagram and Flickr as a result of media bridging.  The #GangstaGardener social movement's planting one seed at a time can ensure healthy, high quality produce to low-income communities such as South Central Los Angeles, just like one hashtag at a time can ensure speedy notification of important events to people nationally and internationally. Empowerment and community building can lead to social action and to a revolution as witnessed with #GangstaGardener, and hopefully will continue to do so, not simply becoming a fad or fifteen minutes of fame.  #GangstaGardener, Ron Finley and the Ron Finley Project challenged the norm of who a gardener is and who a gardener can be. Gardening is not simply a past-time; with this type of gardening people in low-income communities (most likely people of color) can finally take control of what they eat and can finally disregard what their affordability dictates what they can afford to eat. Their situation of living in food deserts reflects the situation of the digital divide: no access to important materials (e.g. food and technological resources) needed to navigate life in the twenty-first century, and the contributions of many to make that division disappear. Pictured below is Ron Finley of the Ron Finley Project and the #GangstaGardener.

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