Black History Month 20 for 20: Black Twitter - Digital Revolution
Monday January 30th I was shooting the shit on Twitter as usual, and turned my attention to the love I have for Master P. My friend Courtney with a K inspired me to start this series (as you can see below). For every weekday in February, I will profile Black persons in celebration of Black History Month. #BHM20for20 Why only 20? Y’all too busy sinning on the weekend to read (I’m joking but not really). Thank you Kourtnee.
“All these social networks & these computers…” – Rowdy Rebel
Be clear, Black Twitter IS Twitter, period. I always see articles or panels written by and/or featuring Black Twitter personalities that I’ve never heard of before. At first I took that as a bunch of cornball brother infiltrators but I started realizing that Black Twitter isn’t just what I choose to read or acknowledge on my TL; it’s Twitter, period. I never viewed Twitter as anything more or less than everyone’s inside voice in a particular moment. And for Black people who don’t have a space or platform to speak out & be heard, Twitter has become magic for them, and I can surely appreciate that. However, Black Twitter, like the world, is bigger than my original definition, feelings, thoughts and views about it because Black Twitter is the world.
We’ve watched people get married, have children, start careers, get on television, and turn their entire life around in real-time thanks to Black Twitter. It’s not a perfect thing but what in life is? Originally I wanted to celebrate OUR barbershops & hair salons but those sanctuaries are become antiquated (especially for my bald ass). Black Twitter has turned into a barbershop/hair salon blend, which is great & awful at the same time. I won’t speak for women but the barbershop is where men speak freely, and loosely about whatever, however they please with little to no judgment but on social media the Black Twitter barbershop doesn’t know how to act accordingly in the presence of mixed company. I’m not saying some of the shit said is cool in the presence of any company but it’s especially dumb in mixed company. The e-bickering about who owes what child support, how much should be spent on a date, problematic, triggering, and cishet men is very sophomoric. These are the “bad” of Black Twitter but it shows that it’s real people with real emotions, and real thoughts; no matter whether you agree with it or not, this sector of Black Twitter has a pulse. That’s the short list of “bad” for me because a lot of it is malicious, and distasteful, but the great far outweighs this petty bullshit. Note: Stop wearing “petty” as a badge, Jay-Z said, “Forever petty minds stay petty mines thinking longevity till I’m 70…” Learn life.
Now the good isn’t just good, it’s fucking great. I don’t like speaking to people, it makes me absolutely uncomfortable to have to pretend to care what they have to say but thanks to Twitter, I can speak to people on my own terms, and make them non-existent by exiting an app; it’s fucking amazing. When I have it in me to sit down and watch live TV; other than my loved ones, the best company on earth is Black Twitter. I have never laughed as hard at anything on my television as I have laughing at tweets that accompany the viewing of something on it. From sporting events, to weekly programming, and the crown jewel that is award shows, Black Twitter keeps everything funny at all times. The memes (I thought this was Mimi for years) the gifs (I thought this was jif but jif is peanut butter) the tweets that end up being slogans for companies to market their product to us, and the entire world; Black Twitter is the entire fucking world.
As great as the fun is, nothing compares to the way Black Twitter comes together to fight for justice; Black Lives Matter has turn the world on its ear. I’m not political scientist or pretend to know anything about politics but thru Black Twitter I’ve been able to learn more about policies, and laws that I would otherwise have had no clue about. Seeing Black people stick together makes me super happy because there’s power in unity; L’Union Fait La Force is the motto of Haiti, and translates to unity is power or unity is force. I believe in showing a united front but meaning it even more, and nothing means more than our Black lives.
For someone like me (there ain’t many) but there’s plenty who have ideas, and thoughts that they want to share with the world, and people that need their message because they can relate; that’s an amazing fucking thing. People begrudge the platform as if everything on this planet isn’t going digital, and we aren’t moving into an app centric era where we micro manage every piece of our life. Black Twitter is the voice of Black people, and Black people are the soul of the world. I used to view Twitter as the 5th year of HS or college but it’s the real-time year of our lives, and I appreciate so many people for using it to express themselves, and share their life the way they see fit whereas they wouldn’t be comfortable outside the platform. I respect Black Twitter, I’m part of it, no matter how much I hate being pigeonholed because it’s not a narrow thing; it’s everything because we are.
Next up, a Black woman who no longer tolerates drama.