A ridiculous 19-year-old and her equally ridiculous friend took to Twitter, smeared brown paint all over their faces in a lame attempt to to “officially” be “apart” of “Black Twitter.” What these two ignorant teens don’t realize is that Black Twitter is a not a joke. There may have been a plethora of hilarious hashtags spawned from it, like, #MamaSpike or #PaulaDeensBestDishes, but the purpose of Black Twitter is a mouthpiece of Black culture; allowing us to have an instant voice to weigh in on the news that effects us directly. And that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
When I tell you that I am beyond tired of racist White people thinking that painting their faces Black is some kind of comedic relief; it’s an understatement. Honestly, what can you expect of someone who uses “apart” when they mean “a part?” Ignorance and ignorance alone.
Sara, the teenager who decided to tweet the photo of herself and her friend in Blackface has since deleted her Twitter page, possibly from all the backlash after she boldly broadcasted her racism. But when I Googled her Twitter handle, I saw this result:
“Actin’ real rude” you say, Sara? I’d say that was pretty much accurate. This clueless teenager couldn’t have possibly thought that this would grant her entrance into the growing online force known as Black Twitter. When Sara shared her ignorant tweet, she wasn’t educated on the sheer power of Black Twitter.
Black Twitter is more than a pop culture phenomenon for racist White teenagers in Blackface to parody. Black Twitter is a new age freedom. President Obama’s healthcare reform, Black Twitter’s on it, spreading education and information. Reality TV shows that plan to showcase a Black man and his staggering number of children and baby mommas? Black Twitter attacked and managed to get that show shut down.Or the overzealous neighborhood watchman’s (who I still refuse to name) whack attempt at staying relevant by attempting to organize “celebrity boxing” matches. Black Twitter shut that down too. There is very real activism in Black Twitter. For far too long, Black people have been voiceless. The Internet gives everyone, not just Blacks, a forum to speak our minds and it’s no surprise that something so powerful, like Black Twitter, was birthed from that freedom.
“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 (aka @drgoddess on Twitter) who has a doctorate in American and Africana Studies, and is currently researching for her upcoming book, “The Bombastic Brilliance of Black Twitter.” Ellis makes a great point on displaying the parallel between Black Twitter and other historical Black activist organization, like the NAACP. “Ask the NAACP how long it would have taken had that been one of their initiatives,” Ellis said.
The power that Black Twitter holds is far too strong to be taken down or even effected by ignorant White teens who think Blackface is still funny. But, instead of chastising these girls (because a deleted Twitter account proves they’ve seen their fair share of backlash), I’d rather have these White girls be educated on the power of Black Twitter and why it’s a thing. Who feels me? Let’s chat! @Rhapsodani
Check Out This Gallery Of Powerful Women Of Color To Follow On Twitter:
1. 15 Powerful Women To Follow On Twitter
Social media has completely taken over our lives. I've always had a personal opposition against social media, often times claiming that it makes us even more unsocial. However, there is a lot of good in social media that one has to learn how to use for their advantage. The best way to take advantage of social media is to cultivate who you follow. Make sure that who you follow is applicable to your life as well as entertaining. Check out this list of 15 powerful women to follow on Twitter.
2. Erykah Badu
There's just something about Erykah that is beyond hypnotizing. Her tweets bring you into her world of being an artist and a doula. Yes, Erykah tweets about the babies she helps deliver. @fatbellybella
3. Gayle King
Besides being Oprah's best friend, Gayle King is known for being a CBS This Morning cohost and Editor-at-Large for O Magazine. Her take on the entertainment industry is often funny and exclusive! @GayleKing
This woman needs no explaining. Just follow her. @oprah
5. Michelle Obama
Obviously, following the first lady is the first thing you should do on Twitter. Under her new account @FLOTUS, not every tweet is hers, but when you see it signed in "mo, you can guarantee that the first lady is reaching out to you directly. @FLOTUS
6. Christiane Amanpour
As one of the most iconic TV journalists, Christiane Amanpour is a powerful Twitter user. She offers breaking news on global conflicts, and provides unique insights and perspectives to political happenings and world events. You don't even need to follow CNN if you're following Christiane. @camanpour
7. Soledad O'Brien
8. Chelsea Clinton
It helps that Chelsea Clinton is the famed offspring of Bill & Hillary Clinton. But she is also a tireless advocate for a healthy and safe world. As an NBC News Special Correspondent and active member of the Clinton Foundation, Chelsea has immeasurable insight of the world to share. @ChelseaClinton
9. Caterina Fake
Caterina Fake tweets about the latest digital news, technology and her own personal views, passions and interests. @Caterina
10. Zainab Salbi
Zainab Salbi is the founder of Women for Women International and served as the organization's CEO from 1993 to 2011. If you want news, stats and opinions on humanitarian crises, follow her. Oh and you can learn how you can contribute in making the world a better place. Who doesn't love that?! @ZainabSalbi
11. Robin Roberts
This "Good Morning America" news anchor is nothing short of amazing. With her inspirational story as a foundation, follow her entertaining tweets as she hobknobs with celebs and shares inspiring anecdotes from other cancer survivors. @RobinRoberts
12. Mary Grove
Mary Grove is the Director of Google for Entrepreneurs. With a passion for building her community, Mary is constantly tweeting about what's next in technology and business. @maryGrove
13. Maya Angelou
There's nothing but reverence in our hearts for Dr. Maya Angelou. Please follow this poet, educator, historian, best-selling author, actress, civil-rights activist, producer and director for tweets that are always worth retweeting. @DrMayaAngelou
14. Gabby Douglas
We've watched her kick major Olympic gymnast butt, but following Gabby Douglas is nothing like following an obnoxious teen who has more gold medals than you. It's just like following your little sister. Check out Gabby's adorable tweets! @gabrielledoug
15. Donna Brazile
You've definitely seen her byline before. Donna Brazile is a political strategist, contributor to CNN and ABC News, educator, author and more. Follow her tweets for absolutely everything a woman of color could ever care about. @donnabrazile
16. Shonda Rhimes
Other than creating one of the biggest shows to his Black Twitter since...well...anything Tyler Perry put out, Shonda Rhimes is one to follow on Twitter and in life! Her tweets are often inspirational and "Scandal"-related. @shondarhimes