Its a Black Twitter Thang! Pt. 3

Published On August 4, 2021 | By Tom Huskerson | News and Analysis


Originally published on

A People’s History of Black Twitter, Part III

Getting Through, 2016–Present

By the end of the Obama era, Black Twitter seemed like a fully realized world, with its own codes and customs. As it reached new levels of visibility and influence, though,  deep-rooted problems began to reassert themselves. Users were hardly surprised.

Sarah J. Jackson, coauthor of #Hashtag Activism: Networks of Race and Gender Justice: When we first got on Twitter, we weren’t worried about people pretending to be Black. We took people for their word. They were who they were.

Judnick Mayard, TV writer and producer: Now y’all over here tryna copy. Everything is a copy of Black Twitter. Every trend, every conversation. Humor. The idea of audacity. Y’all was never as audacious as Black Twitter.

Sylvia Obell, host of the podcast Okay, Now Listen: It starts with us, and then Black culture gets taken everywhere. We can always trace it back to a tweet or a joke or meme or whatever else, because we have that evidence.

Mayard: From the Kardashian body down to the idioms used in ads.

CaShawn Thompson, educator: I think, quite frankly, there is a healthy amount of gatekeeping that we ain’t doing. We let these white folks come at us any old kind of way. Nah. Check them. Stay out of our business.

Brandon Jenkins, TV and podcast host: Black Twitter made a real-time encyclopedia, like an IV plugged into our system. It also created a visibility on Black culture that people never had before. There’s benefits to it, but we never thought about what it would actually mean to be seen.

The election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States—and the politics of division he represented—did not shock a great many Black Americans. Still, we reeled, and often turned to Twitter for respite.

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About The Author

Tom Huskerson Bio Born in Richmond Virginia Tom Huskerson is a military veteran who settled in California after his discharge. Tom attended Santa Barbara City College where he began his writing career as a campus reporter. He worked as an intern news reporter for the Santa Barbara News-Press writing feature stories before moving on to San Francisco. At San Francisco State University Tom studied broadcast communications and began to focus on the Internet. He completed his graduate thesis on Internet advertising. Tom was the first student to ever focus on the Internet as a graduate student at San Francisco State University. After graduation he went to work for Zona Research in California’s Silicone Valley. As a research associate Tom supported senior analyst writing on the latest developments in the Internet industry. During the dot com boom Tom worked for several web businesses as a market researcher and analyst. As a writer and researcher Tom has authored various technical works including a training program for Charles Schwab security. Other projects included professional presentations on workplace violence and hiring security contractors. Tom has also written both fiction and non-fiction works and blogging for a travel website. He has published two books of short stories and completed two novels. Tom is the owner of Scribe of Life Literature and Tom is not the chief editor for the OnTechStreet. com. A news and information blog that focuses on tech news for African-Americans. The blog is the result of his desire to inform the African American community of the dangers and benefits of the cyber age. In his blog Tom reports on information security, new and analysis, scams and hoaxes, legal happenings and various topics that arise from the age of information. Tom believes that technology is a necessary tool for black people and they should know what is happening. Tom writes believing that techno speak is for the professional and that valuable information can be communicated using plain language. As a result he has embraced the motto, Less Tech, More Knowledge.

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