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About MeEdit

I am a published author, a scholar, a recording artist, a social media researcher, and an ethnomusicologist. I study race, gender, age (esp. children and youth), and sexuality in black popular culture including music and technology.

I have been editing Wikipedia since 2007 but became really curious about issues of power and representation among Wikipedians. I do this by both teaching professors and students how to edit Wikipedia. This facet of my participation began when I attended the Art + Feminism edit-a-thon at MoMA for Women's History Month 2016.

Back in 2007 I always imagined the possibility that academics and their students could really make a difference in transforming the "sum of all human knowledge" for users from marginalized groups in the US and abroad. This would only be possible if we academics weren't so vehemently opposed to something we generally know very little about. The open/free knowledge movement should be ours, esp. for those of us teaching and doing research at public institutions. It is the simplest and the most useful and valuable way to make generalized knowledge about women of color and children, for example, available to those who most misunderstand who we are.

Sheridan Ford, the pseudonym used for this account, was the name of my maternal great-great grandfather. He claimed the name when he freed himself from bondage in Portsmouth, Virginia in 1855 on the underground railroad just five years after the institution of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. He was named Robert Irving and he was married to another slave named Julia Irving who was an accountant in her household at 300 North St., Portsmouth, Virginia. I have stood in the room where the two were married in 2014. That same year his story[1] was reported in a local newspaper which was based on a historic book about the Underground Railroad by William Smith. His "free" wife Clarissa also escaped on the Underground Railroad. They met in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Given my interests in the gender and racial gaps on Wikipedia, I dedicate my work to Sheridan Ford, Clarissa, and Julia Irving and their progeny -- me and my African American family as well as the work I do as a Ph.D. who is one of only 5% of the U.S. professoriate in the U.S. #blackwomenslivesmatter #blacklivesmatter #blackgirlsmatter #blackacademicsmatter

I was mentioned in a New York Times article about Wikipedia and you can hear the moment that lead to the article in a YouTube video (click footnotes).[2][3]

14Y
POCThis user is a Person of Color.
 This user is a member of WikiProject Women in Red (redlinks→blue)
 This user is a woman.
enThis user is a native speaker of the English language.
  It is approximately 1:09 AM where this user lives (New York City)
 Everyone has points of view with inherent cultural biases - recognition is the first step to achieving NPOV.
 This user might or might not have an academic degree, and considers the distinction irrelevant on Wikipedia.
 This user thinks you can learn a lot by editing an Encyclopedia.
 This user's editing philosophy...
Contribute, let go
Mind
the
Gap
This editor wants to close Wikipedia's gender gap.
  This user is interested in the study of Objectivism.
 This user is a Fallibilist.
99%This user supports the Occupy Movement.
 This user lives in or is from New York City.
 This person is attending or graduated from the University of Michigan.
MSThis user's favourite subject is Media Studies.
D:<Nothing annoys this user more than when a teacher says that Wikipedia isn't reliable and that anybody can enter anything completely untrue that'll stay.
IARThis user thinks the best rule on Wikipedia is Ignore All Rules.
  This user has been on Wikipedia for 14 years and 7 days.

What I editEdit

I create and edit articles related to Black girlhood, musical blackness, digital media ecology, social media, transactionalist philosophy, and the social sciences, particularly with a focus on the intersectionality and oppression socialization. See "second-generation gender bias". I voice the unspoken and the unintended consequences of being marginalized in U.S. society and culture.

Since 2016, I also introduced the article on Transactionalism, Sha-Rock, and more. I help college students of color and those interested in the study of systemic bias learn to edit Wikipedia articles on topics of their chose related to my courses.

Why I EditEdit

10:55, 29 April 2007 (diff | hist) . . (+240)‎ . . The Apprentice (TV series) ‎ (→‎External links: This is a powerful article written by two business school professors discussing the underlying issues of race, gender and class that scripted the group dynamics of the show .)

2016: I am writing this just months before the 2016 Presidential election in which Trump may be the Republican nominee. The Apprentice was a show I rarely watched but as alluded to above, any article that gives me an opportunity to address marginalization, social inequality, as well as online racism and the sexploitation of girls of color. All these are perspectives to which many of the majority of Wikipedian editors, who are white and male, are structurally indifferent to and unawares while they unconsciously perpetuate marginalization. This is largely the result of inherent bias shaped by white superiority and patriarchal socialization in our social institutions from family, friends, workplaces, and schools of thought and education. We are often overlooked.

My role is to help diminish the gender gap on Wikipedia as well as the misogynoir that appears in the editing process, consciously or unconsciously. To bring it back to the real truth, check out the controversy about the lack of diversity in the Trump Syllabus[4] published in The Chronicle for Higher Ed this week. Two previous POC-centered syllabi led to it. There are multiple versions of the #FergusonSyllabus[5] and a #LemonadeSyllabus (Lemonade Syllabus) launched as an idea by Candice Marie Benbow[6] and a larger version was co-curated by Janell Hobson.[7]

DID YOU KNOW: 92% of children under the age of two have a "digital shadow" or presense online.

"Your digital footprint = items you upload about yourself. Your digital shadow = items that others post about you. Your digital stamp = the summary of information people will learn about you today and 300 years from now digitally, your digital legacy" (Erik Qualman, 2014).

I edit entries on black popular music and dance, girlhood, and media studies. My aim is to become an active editor with 5 edits or more a month. I also am interested in philosophy, feminism, and YouTube.

Mentioned in NYT Tech article (26 June 2016)Edit

Staff writer Jenna Wortham was a panelist for the MoMA Art+Feminism meetup and edit-a-thon co-hosted by WikiMedia NYC chapter in March 2016.

After the session, I mentioned my concerns about how my twerking edits (to which I am continue to contribute) were constantly reverted. It made becoming an editor difficult. I felt my contributions were being thwarted due to the racialized and gendered bias of editors who were not being neutral. It always seemed (and still does to a degree) that anything from a black perspective was being reverted. Anything from prior to the history of Miley Cyrus twerking wasn't as legit or notable. Even as of June 28, 2016, according to a search of WikiBlame on the View History page of the article, Miley Cyrus is mentioned in the twerking article but not the Queen of Bounce, transgender female rap artist Big Freedia.

Jenna Wortham mentioned our interactions after my comments during the Q&A at MoMA in the article "How an Archive of the Internet Could Change History"[8] published in a technology segment of New York Times Magazine on Sunday, June 26. 2016. I am very grateful to her.

I love being a Wikipedian and learned a great deal at the event. Most notably, that I was being reverted more than once because I wasn't aware of the norms and guidelines for editing. Some of my edits on the twerking article have been reverted since but less and less so. What I still see is a bias or whitewashing of its neutral history that includes the performances of black cis and transgender girls and women.

Wikipedian in Residence for Influence Ecology (2016- )Edit

I have been a student and member of Influence Ecology since 2012. After three years of study in transactionalism, I agree to serve as the Wikipedian in Residence for Influence Ecology. I will be editing the main philosophical article and related articles during this period.

My SubpageEdit

User:SheridanFord/subpage. A space created for future essays and thoughts on gender and race bias on Wikipedia. Notes from WikiEdu courses.
  1. ^ "A powerful letter from my great-great-grandfather, who escaped slavery in 1855". ideas.ted.com. 2014-06-19. Retrieved 2017-05-17.
  2. ^ Wortham, Jenna (2016-06-21). "How an Archive of the Internet Could Change History". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-26.
  3. ^ The Museum of Modern Art, Wikipedia Edit-a-thon: Conversation with Orit Gat, Reina Gossett, Jenna Wortham, and Fiona Romeo, retrieved 2019-01-26
  4. ^ "'Trump Syllabus' Is as White as the Man Himself". The Chronicle of Higher Education. 2016-06-23. ISSN 0009-5982. Retrieved 2016-06-29.
  5. ^ "Ferguson Syllabus". 2014-08-21. Retrieved 2016-06-29.
  6. ^ "Lemonade Syllabus". Retrieved 2016-06-29.
  7. ^ "#Lemonade: A Black Feminist Resource List". www.aaihs.org. Retrieved 2016-06-29.
  8. ^ Wortham, Jenna (2016-06-21). "How an Archive of the Internet Could Change History". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-06-30.