Underground & Color of Change

April 15, 2016

AndACTION worked with Color Of Change to signal boost the official Underground live-tweet event with cast members, creators and an enthusiastic audience for the episode "Firefly."

A black woman bandages a man's back injuries from being whipped.
Photo Courtesy: WGN

ABOUT THE SHOW:

Underground is a TV series on WGN that follows a group of enslaved people as they plan an escape from a Georgia plantation to cross 600 miles to freedom.

Strategic Aim:

  • Challenge the status quo: There’s a deep connection between the trauma of slavery and its legacy of institutional racism, which a show like Underground vividly demonstrates. Stories like those told in the episode “Firefly” help viewers connect the history of slavery to the bias still faced by people of color today.

What We Did:

Activity:

As an experiment to connect the Underground audience to Color Of Change’s work — and evaluate whether audiences could see the relationship between the history depicted in the show and today’s racial justice activism — we created social media assets for a Twitter chat and followed up with a blog post analyzing the experiment.

 

Background:

Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization, which helps people respond effectively to injustice in the world. As a national force driven by more than one million members, Color Of Change moves decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more humane and less hostile world for black people in America.

To build the experiment, AndACTION obtained and viewed advance episodes of Underground and prepped tweet content based on key scenes. We also designed and distributed three quote memes about the depiction of slavery on film and TV from the show’s creator as well as TV and social critics. After co-hosting the live Twitter chat, we wrote a blog post to share what we learned and to spark curiosity about pop culture strategies.

Results:

Trending Topics on Twitter

After the Twitter chat, Underground’s official twitter account, @UndergroundWGN, tweeted to its 44,000+ followers, #UndergroundWGN is trending at #3! Thanks for tweeting and tuning in with us and the cast!” In addition to the significant engagement with the audience, we laid the foundation for building a lasting relationship with Color Of Change to help further narrative change about racial inequality.

Through the generosity of our donors, AndACTION can assist nonprofit, philanthropic and other social good organizations in arranging strategic content, Twitter chats, film screenings and many other impactful activities to spark change. Our services are free of charge. For more information and support, please email us at info@andaction.org.