The first major case for cancel culture as a fundamental means of democratic expression throughout history, and timely necessity aimed at combating systems of oppression."___ is canceled." Chances are, you've heard this a lot lately. What might've once been a niche digital term has been legitimized in the discourse of presidents, politicians, and lawmakers. But what really is cancel culture? Blacklisting celebrities? Censorship? Up until this point, this has been the general consensus in the media. But it's time to raise the bar on our definition-- to think of cancel culture less as scandal or suppression, and more as an essential means of democratic expression and accountability. The Case for Cancel Culture does just that. This cultural critique from award-winning journalist Ernest Owens offers a fresh progressive lens in favor of cancel culture as a tool for activism and change. It will help readers reflect on and learn the long history of canceling (the Boston Tea Party was cancel culture) how the left and right uniquely equip it as part of their political toolkits; how intersections of society wield it for justice; and ultimately how it levels the playing field for the everyday person's voice to matter. Why should we care? Because in a world where protest and free speech are being challenged by the most powerful institutions, those without power deserve to understand the nuance and importance of this democratic tool available to them. Rather than seeing cancel culture as a nasty byproduct of the digital age, it should be seen as a powerful instrument for change, and Ernest Owens shows readers exactly how using examples from politics, pop culture, and his own personal experience. Readers will walk away from this first-of-its-kind exploration not despising cancel culture but embracing it as a form of democratic expression that's always been leading the charge in liberating us all.
"So much of the political landscape within the United States is steeped in false equivalences. The term "Cancel Culture" gets thrown around as a Boogey Man to strike fear into the hearts of many, without any analysis of what is actually being named. The Case for Cancel Culture is clear and honest about what Cancel Culture is (and isn't) and is necessary in the fight for critical thought." --J Mase III, author of Is Your God a Violent God?"The Case for Cancel Culture is not just essential at this juncture in time, it's an important tool for all times, and for anyone looking to learn how to have the difficult but necessary conversations about race, injustice, inequality and oppression. What Ernest Owens does in his book is what he's been doing for all the years he's been writing: He gives voice to the voiceless and amplifies the message of the marginalized. The powers that be fear two things: Getting knocked from their perch, and Owens, who shows us the way." --Dawn Ennis, journalist, advocate and university professor "Provocative, thought-provoking commentary and coverage, that's what journalist and writer Ernest Owens' gift is . He often goes where many don't. And while you may not always agree with him, you will leave his written work armed with information necessary for hard, open conversations. I could think of no other person more poised to tackle this issue of Cancel Culture, what it means and its impact today." --Desiree Peterkin-Bell, national political strategist and CEO of DPBell & Associates "Since the meteoric rise of social media, marginalized voices have taken advantage of their newfound online platforms to amplify causes, influence public opinion and shape our culture. These same voices have held corporations accountable, highlighted social injustices, and fueled grassroots political movements like #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo. While these hashtags were incredibly effective in shifting conversation, this novel form of accountability swiftly gave rise to pejorative labels like cancel culture. Now that opposing forces and abusive powers are attempting to swing the pendulum of consequence backward, it is more important than ever to have a book like The Case for Cancel Culture. A blind backlash that ignores historical context threatens to dilute nuanced conversation and villainize the victims whose fortitude gave us both Civil Rights and Women's Suffrage. To me, making a case for cancel culture is making an argument for accountability over acquiescence." -- Jon Pierre, host of The Popular Opinion! and music industry professional of ten years "Ernest Owens has become an invaluable voice in the media calling attention to both the news of the day and the nuance behind those stories. His ability to see through the opaque systems of the world make him the perfect voice to tackle the concept of cancel culture and the varied, tangled ways that phrase has been deployed, misused and maligned." --Leslie Mac, Digital Strategist, CEO of LM Consulting "Ernest Owens is a loudmouthed troublemaking agitator. And that's the greatest compliment I can bestow upon a genuine revolutionary. He's loud because his truth must be heard. He makes the kind of (good) trouble Congressman John Lewis encouraged. And he's like the agitator in a washing machine that exposes dirt in order to wash it away. Read his loudmouthed troublemaking agitating book. Read it now." --Michael Coard, Esq, Civil Rights Attorney "The Case for Cancel Culture explores the ways we attempt to manipulate marginalized communities into silence from holding those with power accountable. Owens' work is a necessary discourse about power and control, and who ultimately has a voice versus whose is often stifled. --Preston D. Mitchum, Esq., LL.M. LGBTQ Attorney and Advocate "Whether with thorough, bulletproof reporting or incisive, thoughtful op-eds, Ernest Owens has always been a journalist whose work demands accountability. He has always had moral clarity, nuanced perspective, and the facts to back them up. It's only fitting that he would write one of the definitive works on cancel culture." --William E. Ketchum III, Culture Journalist
About the AuthorErnest Owens (he/him) is a Forbes 30-Under-30 award-winning journalist and CEO of Ernest Media Empire, LLC. He is the Editor at Large for Philadelphia Magazine and President of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists. He hosts the hit podcast Ernestly Speaking! As an openly Black gay journalist, he has made headlines for speaking frankly about intersectional issues in society regarding race, LGBTQ, and pop culture. In 2018, he launched his growing media company that specializes in multimedia production, consulting, and communications. The Case for Cancel Culture is his first book.