Black Twitter is not a place. It’s more like a school of fish-- a group of individuals that decided to bond together in large sea. The group moves with swiftness, precision and awe-inducing power. The Atlantic once called it “a force.” And the topics range from gravely important issues of race, politics and media to awesome songs and hilarious memes.
Ultimately Black Twitter is a platform for black people to communicate with each other around topics of interest. (Just like how everyone else uses Twitter...) Except that blackness is not widely represented in mainstream media and the predominant pop-cultural conversations are white, which makes these conversations all the more interesting and important.
Here are a few must follow people to gain a deeper understanding of Black Twitter, black issues in America… and also lots of hilarious memes.
Activism + Journalism
In August 2014, Twitter explodes with reaction to the shooting of Michael Brown. Activity around the #Ferguson hashtag shows the emotional impacts of the story on the St. Louis community, as well as black communities everywhere. In an emotional interview with some of Black Twitter’s heavy hitters, @Deray said “CNN was sort of painting this picture about chaos. And Twitter and Instagram were painting a picture about pain.”
Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. Wesley was a constant stream of information while dispatching from #Ferguson. He is an advocate for protecting journalists and preserving free speech. He’s currently devoted to covering the fledgling days of the new administration and the potential civil rights implications.
Straight from her website: “Nikole Hannah Jones is an award-winning investigative reporter covering racial injustice for the New York Times magazine.” She reports on deeply ingrained forms of institutional segregation and racism in the US. She’s also the co-founder of the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, which is dedicated to increasing the numbers and ranks of investigative journalists of color. Follow her to see how “school choice” unfolds, among other issues.
Arts + Pop Culture + Entertainment
Rebecca Theodore is a film and TV contributor for a laundry list of major national publications like Entertainment Weekly, Forbes and Co-host of @cinemanoir-- a show that provides the black female perspective on film and TV.
Individually they are smart hilarious women. Together they’re @anotherround, a booze-fueled, foul-mouthed very funny podcast that’s part of the Buzzfeed family. They talk pop culture, book recommendations, and general get better at life advice.
April Reign was a lawyer for 20 years before she found her passion as a writer and activist. She’s the editor of both BroadwayBlack.com and NU Tribe Magazine. She created the viral #OscarsSoWhite movement. “She dispenses wit, provocative thought and information 140 characters at a time.”
These two poets know how to pack a punch into very few words, which makes them perfect for Twitter.
We know we had to miss some big names here. Tell us who you think is a must follow by Tweeting us.
Creative Community Director at Snapfluence.
There is often a pen stuck in my hair.