A Howard University student leveraged the power of social media to make what’s happening in Ferguson more real for people who aren’t there.
“One of the beautiful things about social media is how much attention you can gather and how very quickly you can gather the attention,” said Howard University sophomore Khalil Saadiq, who organized the powerful image of hundreds of students with their hands up – the sign of surrender, which Brown was doing when he was shot, according to eyewitnesses. The photo quickly went viral, as did the hashtag #DONTSHOOT.
Saadiq told Fusion Live the down side of social media, though, “is that things tend to come to life and then die with the hashtag. As long as people are tweeting about it then people care, and they’re involved, but the moment it’s not something that’s on your timeline or your Instagram feed or you see being Vined, you don’t care anymore, so that’s one of the things. So the goal here at Howard was to bring our community into it, so we can make it their reality, and move forward from that point.”
Saadiq said the attention was well deserved.
“We did exactly what we intended to do, it was just on a much larger scale than we anticipated. I definitely felt humbled by the events,” he added.