AU MA Social Media

A class blog about social media.

Black Twitter is Not a “Trend,” It is Not a “Thing,” It Is Our Culture — In Real Time

Posted by lianabailey1 on June 27, 2013

As both an African American and a frequent Twitter user I have recently been hearing more about “Black Twitter”.Which made me think about my Twitter followers; who mostly are African American. It became even more apparent to me when one of my good friends tweeted “I wonder what goes on in ‘white’ twitter?”

As the amount Twitter users grow continuously there is a new phenomenon that is capturing the interest of mainstream media; Black Twitter. Like the innovation of Hip Hop, Black Twitter shows that despite the seeming universality of technology, people and culture matter.

Although, research shows there is a higher percentage of African Americans on Twitter in comparison to other racial groups, “Black Twitter”, is more than just African Americans tweeting. It is a phenomenon that incorporates our unique online presence incorporating our intelligence, humor, unique language production, emoticons, hashtags, corrective narratives, cultural critique, organizing and entrepreneurial success, enhanced by fictive kin relationships. To elaborate more on language, Black Twitter helps reinforce the Black speech traditions developed in response to the censure of black intellectualism as a matter of domestic policy. For years, the social segregation of this country has kept people separate; with black nuances kept within the confines of our safe spaces. Twitter has given the opportunity for the African American voice.

Theories suggests that a higher interest in entertainment news was a “significant predictor” of Twitter use and that African American users were “more likely” than other groups to have a greater interest in celebrity and gossip updates. But there is some debate that is showing that it is deeper than just our interest in celebrity gossip. “Black Twitter” is like a digital unfolding of cultural blackness. Technology is reconstituting the traditions embedded in the history of black rhetoric. The anonymity of the Internet has provided us a new gathering space.


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