On this month’s episode of the Deerfield Public Library Podcast, we have the honor of talking to Dr. Kishonna Gray, author of Intersectional Tech: Black Users in Digital Gaming (Louisiana State University Press). Dr. Gray is an Assistant Professor in Communication, Gender and Women’s Studies, and an affiliate in Black Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. 

In Intersectional Tech, Dr. Gray documents and analyzes how the intersectional identities of race, gender, sexuality, and ability are experienced by black video gamers. Conversations about racial justice can sometimes overlook gaming and related social media, even though these activities make up a large part of many people’s everyday lives. Digital Space is real space, says Dr. Gray: it’s where hashtags like #blacklivesmatter started and where the legacies of redlining give way to digital redlining. 

In this fascinating and wide-ranging conversation, we touch on the work of libraries (which often circulate and promote video games), as well as how black users develop self-sustaining, empowering practices, create new resources, and collaborate with allies to navigate digital life. 

You can find out more about Dr. Kishonna Gray at her website, kishonnagray.com, or follow her on Twitter @KishonnaGray. Check out Intersectional Tech at the library in our podcast collection. 

You can also check out the resource caniplaythat.com for game reviews and more from an ability lens. Or check out our adaptive X-Box controller, or one of our many video games. Dr. Gray recommends the Hitman series among other games at the end of our episode. 

We hope you enjoy our 44th episode and the end of our show’s fourth year! We’ll be back in 2021 with another year of episodes featuring conversations with notable guests, including authors, artists, and leaders from Deerfield, Chicagoland, and the whole world. Learn more about the podcast on our podcast page.

You can listen to all of our episodes in the player below or on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts. We welcome your comments and feedback—please send to [email protected].