In a new NBC News report, Black social media users have been credited with bringing the death of Shanquella Robinson to light.
Black social media users are being acknowledged for their help in bringing the death of Shanquella Robinson to surface. NBC News has reported on the matter, with Robinson’s mother, Salamondra, thanking Black users on Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook for seeking justice for Robinson’s death in Mexico.
“I never thought she wouldn’t get justice because we were going to try to go all the way,” Salamondra said. “But I appreciate everything that everybody’s done, however you’ve played a part in it.”
Robinson, who lived in Charlotte, North Carolina, was found dead at a Cabo San Lucas villa on October 29. Robinson’s vacation with her friends in Mexico began the day prior, but she was dead less than 24 hours later, with friends claiming that she had alcohol poisoning. However, graphic footage from the trip allegedly shows Robinson being physically attacked in a room.
While initially no evidence was found after Robinson’s death, Black social media support has kept attention on the investigation. A GoFundMe for the family has raised more than $363,000 and on Saturday (November 19), friends, family and supporters gathered for Robinson’s funeral.
“Social media has been around and has been used as an amplification and social justice tool for almost a decade,” said Sherri Williams, a professor of race, media and communication at American University. “Black folks know that mainstream news media has a history of completely ignoring our stories. So we’ve been using these tools to amplify our stories ourselves. And it works! We see this cycle of mainstream news media basically following the chatter on Black social media.”
The professor also pointed out “the power of Black digital activism” when violence against Black women is largely swept under the rug.
“But mainstream media still has a way to go in terms of, not only diversifying its news force, but also in terms of paying attention to what is happening in communities that are not white,” Williams said.