A hashtag can be a powerful thing.
Take, for example, #BBUM, the hashtag a group of University of Michigan students used this week to discuss race relations at colleges. The hashtag’s abbreviation stands for “Being black at the University of Michigan,” but it quickly set off a national discussion that went well beyond that one school.
After the university’s Black Student Union began using the #BBUM Tuesday, people used the hashtag more than 13,000 times in the following 24 hours or so, according to Yahoo. It was still in wide use Thursday night and Friday morning to discuss topics ranging from the assumption that all black students are athletes to simple offers of support.
The University of Michigan issued this response via Twitter:
Thanks for engaging in this conversation. We’re listening, and will be sure all of your voices are heard. #BBUM