What is Black Twitter?

Black Twitter refers to the collective identity of black American users of Twitter (now X). In a way, Black Twitter is a digital community where black members can connect and stand together about what it is like to be black. This contains both the lighter and deeper sides. The emphasis tends to be on African Americans' experiences, but not totally.

More Black Twitter 

André Brock, a researcher at the University of Iowa, cites 2008 and 2009 articles by Anil Dash and Chris Wilson in The Root, which highlighted the viral success of memes like #YouKnowYoureBlackWhen and #YouKnowYoureFromQueens targeting Black Twitter users. 

In 2010, Farhad Manjoo’s article, “How Black People Use Twitter,” gathered significant attention on Twitter, leading to the headline being shortened to “Black Twitter.” 

By March 2013, it had become a major topic of conversation, and more individuals were aware of its existence. Since then, it has been an essential social media space.

Most importantly, a historic turning point for Black Twitter was the debate resulting from Trayvon Martin’s killing in February 2012 and George Zimmerman’s later acquittal in July 2013. Naturally, after this event, Black Twitter was outraged. This led to the spread of the famous hashtag #blacklivesmatter, which grew into a full-fledged political trend for several years that followed.

Black Twitter is a multi-purpose community. It – 

  • Offers a supportive culture for discussing institutionalized racism, problematic people, and racist messaging.
  • Provides a platform for light topics like pop culture, movies, and memes.
  • Offers immersion in a black community where concerns or perspectives are validated.
  • Encourages community engagement through small actions like retweeting or responding to others’ tweets.
  • Reflects the diversity of interests and topics covered by the community.

Look at an example of tweets on Black Twitter in the screenshot below

Black Twitter

Source: X

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Black Twitter a hashtag?

Black Twitter users frequently distinguish themselves with the hashtag #blacktwitter or by highlighting problems concerning their experience being black.

Who uses Black Twitter?

The phrase "Black Twitter" is used by both Black Twitter members and the general public. It is frequently used to discuss Black Twitter's widespread influence and visibility.

What are the popular hashtags on Black Twitter?

Black Twitter is well recognized for its involvement in the formation of the Black Lives Matter movement. Some popular hashtags include #sayhername, #bringbackourgirls, #icantbreathe, #blackgirlmagic, #oscarsowhite, etc.

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