Black Twitter


“But there is a notable paradigm shift associated with the rise of social media and “diffused” audiences: audience communities can (and do) now encounter and confront one another far more readily – (Ouellette & Gray 190)

When reading this quote about audiences from Keywords for Media Studies, I thought about the phenomenon known as “Black Twitter.” Wikipedia defines Black Twitter as the “cultural identity on the Twitter social network focused on issues of interest to the Black community, particularly in the United States.” Before the rise of social media, Black people did not really have any platforms in which to discuss issues related to the Black community in such a quick and efficient way. Now, due to social media, no matter how far the distance, Black people have multiple platforms on which to discuss topics we all witness and experience, with Twitter being one of the main platforms. Black Twitter has been recognized by countless outlets in media as well as various corporations as a major influence on trends and culture. In terms of age, backgrounds, religions, sexualities, etc, Black Twitter has quite a diverse makeup, making it an interesting audience which consumes a plethora of media. Identity is quite important on Black Twitter, as it is what makes Black Twitter so prominent and what makes it feel like a community, or even a family. In Arlene Davila’s discussion of Hispanic and Latino representation and marketing, she says that “the media’s role in the construction of identities is currently at the forefront of contemporary cultural studies as part of a growing interest in the new vectors through which people assert and communicate national and social identities in an increasingly mass mediated and transnational world” (Davila 5). I believe this quote can also be applied to the phenomenon of Black Twitter, showing the connection between Hispanic and Latino identities and Black identities in the rise of social media and its influence on identity and culture.

At the beginning of the post, I used a picture of the Twitter symbol in black holding up the Black power fist to go along with the quote. It is interesting to see the Twitter symbol in this way, looking much different than usual. I chose to include some clips from a video featured on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah titled “Black Eye on America – What Is Black Twitter?” as I feel the speakers in the video encapsulates the impact and importance of Black Twitter. I did have some trouble narrowing it down to the clips I included, as the whole video discusses many good points. I included some tweets I found myself when one of the people, Elon James, speaks about the nuances of Black Twitter. Also, at the end, I decided to include a clip of the song “I’m Black Y’all” from the movie CB4, as I feel it summarizes the pride that individuals on Black Twitter have.