Center for Media Justice home of the Media Action Grassroots Network

5 Really Big Myths About ‘Next Generation’ Civil Rights and the Fight for an Open Internet

The following post was written by Executive Director Malkia Cyril, cross-posted from The Huffington Post.

As Black communities emerge from the shadows of criminalization, hashtags like #BlackLivesMatter have jumped off the computer screen and into the street. Beyond sparking a long-awaited new civil rights movement, they are also catalyzing an amazing 21st century model for civil rights activism.

The genius and passion of this “next generation” of civil rights leaders, set the nation ablaze in response to the murders of Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Renisha McBride, Michael Brown, and other Black people. Their public cry that all Black lives matter has echoed far beyond the narrow halls of mainstream cable news. On the open Internet, this new generation of leaders has crafted an amazing story, in their own voices, that rejects the criminalization and lifts up the humanity of Black communities.

The reason the open Internet has been such a powerful tool for change for this generation of leaders is because, unlike other media platforms, broadband has historically been protected by non-discrimination rules. These rules, called network neutrality, make the Internet the most democratic media platform in history. While most of us cannot own a cable news station, every one of us can own a website.

But the ability of Black communities to use the Internet to sustain this growing movement is threatened… Read More

About the Author

Malkia A. Cyril is co-founder and Executive Director of the Center for Media Justice (CMJ). For more than 20 years, Malkia has organized social justice coalitions, resources, and advocacy for media rights, access, and representation across the United States. You can follow Malkia on Twitter @CultureJedi

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