Black Twitter is a movement about reclamation and agenda setting. It is the unapologetic, unfiltered and unabashed recognition of the black experience as it unfolds in real time.
Among the priceless moments of #yaaas, tea-spilling and shade also lie nuggets of insightful and spot on social commentaries of news and current events. As the year comes to a close, BLK takes a look ten hashtags from Black Twitter that packed a powerful punch and left an unforgettable impact.
One DC based attorney started the hashtag in response to the Academy’s snub of actors of color. The failure to nominate a single non-white actor made the 87th Academy Awards the “whitest Oscars” since 1998.
In her work with the African American Policy Forum (AAPF), Kimberlé Crenshaw reminded us to be inclusive of black women’s experiences of police brutality. The hashtag was coined earlier this year to highlight stories of Black women killed by police.
Most posts today that celebrate the beauty and excellence of all things melanin are sprinkled with messages like #blackgirlmagic. It’s so ubiquitous that it’s hard to imagine it has roots as early as 2013 when CaShawn Thompson aka @thepbg created the hashtag to honor black women.
One of the unforgettable tales of 2015 includes the story of Rachel Dolezal. The parents of the former NAACP Spokane Chapter president revealed that their daughter was actually a white woman posing as a black woman. Black Twitter’s response: A social media trivia on black culture. Can Rachel pass the test? *sips tea*
The ultimate throwback to childhood memories at grandma’s house or black hair care, this hashtag united us all.
Last April, the world was captivated by the disappearance of 200 Nigerian schoolgirls. First Lady Michelle Obama brought more attention to the story by tweeting a photo of herself holding a #BringBackOurGirls sign. That was one year ago. The hashtag was revived around the same time this year to call for the return of the schoolgirls who are still missing.
Sparked by the unknown death of Sandra Bland, this hashtag chillingly revealed the fear most Black men and women have about the possibility of being in police custody, and the distrust of the media to report about these circumstances fairly.
Black Twitter struck gold again with this throwback just in time for the holidays this year. From auntie’s wig game to the awkward dinner table conversations, his hashtag humorously explored black family dynamics at Thanksgiving gatherings.
When prospective student Abigail Fisher cried foul after alleging she was denied admission to the University of Texas at Austin because she was white, she took the case to the Supreme Court. This month, Justice Antonin Scalia argued that black students should go to “a slower-track school where they do well” because it “benefits” them. In a perfect response to these disturbing comments, users tweeted photos of their graduations and achievements. #blackexcellence.
Out of the demonstrations at the University of Missouri calling for the resignation of Tim Wolfe and remedies to incidents of campus racial violence, birthed a movement of solidarity among colleges and universities across the country. Students of color tweeted this hashtag in support of Mizzou students while sharing some of their own experiences at college.
Black Twitter got one more clap back in before the new year with this hashtag. When Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton changed her Twitter avatar to her re-made campaign logo resembling a kinara, Black Twitter went off, saying it was a cheap attempt to pander votes from the black community.