Are you a avid emoji user? Me too. I love expressing myself with those adorable little photos. However, I know I’m not alone when I say, “How come there’s no Black emojis?” The closest thing we have to a Black emoji is that Middle Eastern dude, rocking a turban, oh and let us not forget that guy with the black thing on his head–what is that anyway? There’s 800 freakin’ emojis and none of them look like us.
Finally, after years of people petitioning, tweeting, and begging for a racially diverse representation, Apple is making an “effort to update the standard.” An Apple VP emailed a blogger from MTV, who reached out with a very matter-of-fact question, what’s up with the lack of diversity in emojis? He received a reply within a day from Vice President of worldwide corporate communications for Apple, Katie Cotton:
“Tim [Apple CEO] forwarded your email to me. We agree with you. Our emoji characters are based on the Unicode standard, which is necessary for them to be displayed properly across many platforms. There needs to be more diversity in the emoji character set, and we have been working closely with the Unicode Consortium in an effort to update the standard.”
Many critics may say that once again, Black people are being way too sensitive about race and that this isn’t even large enough to be considered an issue, however, this conversation is bigger than a tiny smiley to replace your words via text. This is about racial equality. Minorities rarely get a chance to see themselves being represented. And honestly, if Apple were to make this monumental move, people of color would feel just a tiny bit more accepted in society.
New York Times article reported on race equality in America and says that one in three Blacks said they were treated unfairly within the last year because of perceptions of their race.” Well, that’s the biggest duh I’ve ever read. We live in a society where young Black men are being shot and killed because their mere presence serves as a threat.
I can’t say that we haven’t made amazing strides as Black people, but it’s obvious our work is far from over. It may be “just” emojis, but adding diversity is a start in racial inclusion.First emoijis, then the world! We’re going to get our 40 acres and a mule, y’all!
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