Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Black Twitter Grows into an Online Force; #This! Tweets Promote Social Change, with Humor

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Black Twitter Grows into an Online Force; #This! Tweets Promote Social Change, with Humor

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON * The hashtag gave it away.

When a Florida jury convicted Michael Dunn of attempted murder, but not actual murder, in the shooting death of black teenager Jordan Davis, the hashtag #dangerousblackchildren popped up on Twitter. Users posted photos of black babies and toddlers, spoofing the fear that Dunn testified he felt before opening fire on a carful of teens at a convenience store.

That hashtag was the calling card of Black Twitter, a small corner of the social media giant where an unabashedly black spin on life gets served up in 140-character installments.

Black Twitter holds court on pretty much everything from President Barack Obama to the latest TV reality show antics. But Black Twitter can also turn activist quickly. When it does, things happen such as the cancellation of a book deal for a juror in the George Zimmerman trial, or the demise of Zimmerman's subsequent attempt to star at celebrity boxing.

Catchy hashtags are a hallmark and give clues that the tweeting in question is a Black Twitter thing.

"It's kind of like the black table in the lunchroom, sort of, where people with like interests and experiences, and ways of talking and communication, lump together and talk among themselves," said Tracy Clayton, a blogger and editor at Buzzfeed known on Twitter as @brokeymcpoverty.

Black Twitter is not a special website or a smartphone app. The hashtag #blacktwitter itself won't necessarily lead you to it. It is not exclusively black there are blacks who don't participate in it, and people of other races who do.

"Black Twitter brings the fullness of black humanity into the social network, and that is why it has become so fascinating," said Kimberly C. Ellis, who has a doctorate in American and Africana Studies, tweets as @drgoddess and is studying Black Twitter for her upcoming book, "The Bombastic Brilliance of Black Twitter. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.