A Guide To Black Twitter
While it’s hard to accurately measure the influence of certain people on Black Twitter, there are folks who keep conversations going. Callahan, mentioned previously, has just short of 9,000 followers, but has access to more based on her association with The Root.
Her colleague, Demetria Lucas D’oyley, has 37.6 K followers via her popular Root column “A Belle In Brooklyn” as well as her book of the same name and a role in the Bravo reality show Blood, Sweat and Heels.
Ebony.com Senior editor Jamilah Lemieux, who writes on race issues, has built her social media profile to the point that she now has 37,7000 followers as well as access to one of Black media’s enduring brands.
Writer Dream Hampton, a veteran hip-hop and social justice writer has over 60,000 followers and is passionately committed to social justice causes.
That Black women have found influence on Twitter is not surprising as social media has become a significant way for them to network. They have also been drivers of Black feminists agendas, often ignored by the white feminist majority and have been strong supporters of many social justice campaigns using digital media.
According to a comprehensive 2014 report on Black women, issued by the National Coalition of Black Civic Participation and the Black Women’s roundtable, despite some truly sobering statistics on poverty, finances, and violence, Black women are increasingly completing higher education and becoming more politically active.
The report states that Black women lead the nation in voter turnout and therefore exert an increasingly greater influence on social policy. This should consider to play itself out via digital media as Black women use it to continue to network, advocate for social justice and media fairness and support causes and candidates they care about.
Among celebrities, Rihanna is one of the top 20 most followed Black celebrities, with over 38 million followers. She is the most followed Black person on Twitter behind President Barack Obama. If she wanted to wield some political clout, she could, and every so often she does. Check out this post.
(Rihanna photo: Instagram)
But backlash from a quickly deleted post in support of Palestine may keep her quiet on social issues. Number of followers are just one part of the piece when it comes to influencers. It’s those who are supporting causes, who can get a hashtag out to as many people as possible and have them act quickly on it, that help spread the word, the information or the outrage that will be part of the ever-changing incarnations both of social media and social justice.
If you don’t have the time or access to make Black friends as the Black Twitter Awards suggested only half-jokingly, you can get some insight into Black Twitter through several of the accounts already mentioned. You can also look at this list of active, influential tweeters or go here for daily metrics on Black Twitter.
Black Twitter is its own organic creation. To be up on what’s going on with Black folks, you can join the conversations or just watch them happen. But as Black Twitter’s power, numbers and influence grow, expect it to keep driving Black activism, Black pride and Black self-realization 140 characters at a time.