by Eileen LeValley
Black Twitter is a cultural identity consisting of, “Black Twitter Users” from around the world, on the Twitter Social Network. They are focused on issues of interest to the black community, particularly in the United States. Active African-American Twitter users have created a virtual community.
Some examples of Black Twitter are #YouOKSis, which calls out street harassment, and #BlackLivesMatter, which gives voice to the ongoing movement to reform police practices. In particular, the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter was created in 2013 by activists Alicia Garza. Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi. They felt that African Americans received unequal treatment from law enforcement. Alicia Garza describes it as, “An ideological and political intervention in a world where black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for their demise.”
“It is an affirmation of black people and their contributions to this society, our humanity and our resilience, in the face of deadly oppression.”
Black Twitter is an extension of the black urban experience. It has power and impact. Twitter gets a lot of attention for dragging someone through the mud, but it also serves as a mechanism for activism. African Americans use twitter at a higher rate than any other ethnic group.
Black Twitter is not a hashtag or website. It is a group of individuals that come together to have conversations about culture, identity, and race. Black Twitter is not a secret platform. It is the way people use the platform to draw attention to issues of concerns to black communities.