Twitter: The Black News Mecca
Photo Credit: twitter.com
Today, news spreads vastly with the assistance of our constantly evolving technology and the media platforms developed because of it. With so many sources for information that stem outside of textbooks and word of mouth, it is no wonder that communication via technology is being strongly implemented in a number of arenas such as politics, human rights campaigns, fashion, music, news and more. Media is an essential communication outlet for all people. Specifically, media and the Black community have developed a passionate relationship that has allowed the creation and popular expansion of what we refer to as Black Twitter.
After I randomly inquired of a group of peers about their perspective of Black Twitter, I discovered some interesting details. Initially, I understood Twitter to be a social media platform created to allow individuals to share their thoughts, feelings, favorite food, fun facts, random ideas, music, etc. in 140 characters or less; to put it coyly, Twitter is the virtual journal we all share with our friends and followers. Black Twitter, however, is a sanction that supersedes the basic format and purpose of Twitter in general. Black Twitter, for many, is a primary source of news. One peer even admitted that, if not for her perusing Black twitter, she would not know much about anything happening in news or entertainment today. So, based on my personal use and the observation of use from others, I believe it fair to say that Black Twitter is a dominant force in social media news reporting and dialect. It is a tool many young African Americans rely on. It is the platform many of our activists, entrepreneurs, bloggers, artists, and peers use to generate, discuss, and spread information that mainstream media does not always diverge or even know about--an informational life source!
Black Twitter can be described as the culmination of cultures, languages, interests, and concerns that directly impact or are related to the Black diaspora. Through this tool, we have been introduced to the significance of hashtags, trending topics, and the revolutionary idea of engaging individuals in campaigns, causes for human and animal rights, special events and occurrences, Shondaland discussions and information on things happening in real time, by first creating awareness then with follow up details, via the internet.
One of the greatest aspects of Black Twitter is that it reflects how we as a people are multifaceted. Black Twitter is not limited to one realm of “blackness”. A person can, in Black Twitter, stand for several causes simultaneously. That is to say, one can indulge in a discussion via Black Twitter that can also be related to general public such as religion or sexuality. Furthermore, an individual has varying options as to how to engage in the topics of Black Twitter, be it a retweet, replying to a specific tweet from a user, replying to a #hashtag, or commenting on a topic until it is trending sitewide, which introduces further engagement and a broader audience, still under the Black Twitter umbrella.
You see, for me Black Twitter is the information Mecca of its time; it is the lifesource for all that we know in media and news, today. At times, I have even outsourced traditional news outlets and referred to Black Twitter for the details the news won’t share in detail or may not be privy to altogether. Reflect on how Black Twitter unified to bring awareness to the shooting of Mike Brown in Ferguson and how that movement sparked insight to many other injustices plaguing the Black community. Consider how Black Twitter introduced the Black Lives Matter campaign in the form of a hashtag that has gone global. Even for entertainment, Black Twitter is a primary source. Consider this: thanks to Black Twitter, I have not missed a single music release or rant from Kanye West; essentials people, from right amongst us.
Photo Credit: rap-up.com
Though we know that Black Twitter is not always about the facts; that sometimes we are just engaging in playful banter, and that dialogue and debate are frequent in our discussions based on personal morality, practical implication, and general opinion, we can rest assured that Black Twitter is and forever will be a staple in the history of the global impact induced by Black Millennials. Stay Black and Tweet, my good people.
Hey yawl I’m Tyler Marie, or Ty as I’ve come to be called. I am a (West-Side) Chicagoan ‘til Chicago ends. I attended Whitney M. Young Magnet High School here in the city and went on to attend the first Private HBCU, Wilberforce University (OH) where I obtained my B.A. Sociology in 2012. It’s probably pretty clear now that writing is kind of ‘my thing’ but I’m more than okay with that. Other hobbies include eating, playing basketball, modeling and singing. Basically, I spend all my time trying to be as fly of a Black Girl as I can be. Connect with me via: Twitter/Instagram- @_Mighty5| Tumblr- iamjusttyler.tumblr.com