Africans are using the hashtag #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou to fight against images of poverty porn often shown in media. (Photo: Getty Images / Yasuyoshi Chiba)
Africans are using the hashtag #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou to fight against images of poverty porn often shown in media. (Photo: Getty Images / Yasuyoshi Chiba)
Africans are using the hashtag #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou to fight against images of poverty porn often shown in media.
(Photo: Getty Images / Yasuyoshi Chiba)

Tyler Fyfe of Plaid Zebra magazine is reporting that Africans are using Twitter to fight what is called “media poverty porn” by Tweeting beautiful images of their real lives. “Media poverty porn” refers to the proliferation of stereotypical images circulated in the media of Africans as financially impoverished, sick, war infested and primitive based on dominant ideologies about black people worldwide, it’s not actual porn like what you’d find on watch my girlfriend xxx like some may have mistaken. In an effort to confront these images head on, Fyfe discusses those who are using positive images to fight negative images so that more than one story is told. He writes:

“Poverty-Porn is the tactic of media and charities that uses sympathy as a catalyst for monetary gain, exploiting the poor and uneducated, to showcase desperate conditions for an emotional response. And while the tactic may be effective at heightening profits—by misrepresenting an entire continent as slum—the fate of an entire continent is stamped with pity. What this means is that outside of Africa, Africans are expected to look up…

In response to the oversimplification of African identity, and connectedly an oversimplification of the roots of poverty in some nations, Africans have taken to social media to show the diversity of the continent. Twenty-two-year-old Somali-American student, Diana Salah (@lunarnomad) helped spur the social media campaign #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou. Since it began a week ago (late June 2015), the hashtag has been used over 54,000 times.”

Read more at Plaid Zebra.

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