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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Qingwen Dong

First Committee Member

Lisa Cooper

Second Committee Member

Alan Ray


Throughout history, technology has evolved to help empower communities of color. In the twenty-first century, online social networking sites have changed the way people communicate with their peers, employers and the world. Online social media sites have brought demands for further exploration using social media sites. Online social media has influenced social change, and has become the voice of the new era. Facebook and Twitter have been the leading tools used to communicate world events, social gatherings, revolutions and everyday events. Communication scholars have begun to research the phenomenon of how social media sites are being used to socialize communities of color.

In the digital age, researchers are using methods such as uses and gratification to understand and investigate why African-Americans are using online social media sites as a tool to communicate. Researchers focus on questions such as why are African-Americans interested in sharing personal information online, and how do African-Americans use different social media sites to engage. In this research, Facebook was one of the most popular sites used in the African-American communities to communicate by posting pictures, exchanging information and posting daily activities. There are several reasons for social online media sites in the African-Americans community, such as entertainment, socialization, information-seeking, business and education.

The study found African-American young adults use social media sites to engage in daily activities and information seeking. Further explanations of observed finding were provided in the thesis.



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