The power of Black social media isn’t one to be underestimated.
In comparison to their white counterparts, Black women are disproportionately covered in mainstream media when tragedy arises. However, it wasn’t the case for Shanquella Robinson.
According to NBC News, Salamondra Robinson, mother of Shanquella, credited Black social media users for spreading the word about her daughter’s passing.
Who is Shanquella Robinson?
In October, Charlotte, NC, native Shanquella Robinson was found dead in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The 25-year-old traveled with six friends to the resort, who claimed that her death was due to alcohol poisoning.
According to Robinson’s family statement to WBTV of Charlotte, an autopsy report revealed that her neck had been broken and her spinal cord cracked. Additionally, a video surfaced of what appears to be Robinson being physically assaulted.
While in the fight for justice, Salamondra is greatly thankful for Black social media’s efforts, which have led to more coverage from mainstream media and authorities to push her story to be a “larger investigation.”
“It feels really good to see the help coming in,” Salamondra told NBC News.
She continued: “I never thought she wouldn’t get justice because we were going to try to go all the way. But I appreciate everything that everybody’s done, however you’ve played a part in it.”
Black Social Media's Support
The viral posts across Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook have resulted in not only amplifying Robinson’s story but also financially supporting her family. As of Nov. 22, the outlet noted that a GoFundMe had raised over $363,000.
“Social media has been around and has been used as an amplification and social justice tool for almost a decade,” Sherri Williams, a professor of race, media and communication at American University told the outlet. “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.”
Robinson’s story is continuing to be amplified, but for her mother, it’s just the beginning of the fight for her daughter’s honor.
“People are leaking everything on Facebook and Instagram. Most of it is pretty accurate. I want them to share everything,” she said. “I love it because it’s keeping Shanquella’s memory alive. Everybody that knew Shanquella knew she was a good person and she had a great heart.”
On Nov. 19, Robinson was laid to rest with hundreds of loved ones and supporters celebrating her life. As of now, her case is still ongoing.