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Hip Hop Culture for Grown-Ups

Cool Story, Bro: #BlackTwitter Wins The Internets

Words by Tony Grands

I bet Jack Dorsey never saw this coming…

Wikipedia.com, everyone’s favorite real-time digital encyclopedia, has put its official stamp of approval on #BlackTwitter, giving the sub-subculture its on mention on it’s pages.

In the words of the not-so-trustworthy reference website:

    “Black Twitter is a cultural identity on the Twitter social network focused on issues of interest to the black community, particularly in the United States.”

The website Twitter – which began in 2006 as a microblogging service where users could give scant, 140 character-based updates about nothing in particular – has become a hip, coffee shop cafeteria of wit & blue humor, boasting a current volume of over 200 million users as of February 2013.

God only knows how many people waste their valuable time take advantage of the rampant social media site as of yesterday.

There are many branches & divisions of users under Twtr‘s (that’s not a typo; that’s the original spelling) multifaceted umbrella. These factions & branches utilize the site to promote movies & music, give advice, advertise their products, sell their books, hawk their clothing lines, etc. However, due to the tenacity & influence of Twitter’s African-American users (research shows that over 25% of Twitter users are Black or African-American), the world has finally publicly recognized this particular sect of its twitizens, & Wikipedia has subsequently locked #BlackTwitter into history’s cognitive memory as it’s very own entity. For what it’s worth, there could just as easily be #RapperTwitter, #SingleMomTwitter, #PornstarTwitter, etc., but they wouldn’t be able to hold a candle to the vitriolic virility of Black Twitter.

Some people see “Black Twitter” as a place of tangible Internet influence that spills out into the real world (see: “Yolo” & “Cool Story, Bro” shirts), while others view it as a racist, cyberbullying taunt-a-thon where the offensive jokes & insensitive material frolic freely. I say it’s a surgically contrived combination of the two, as jagged as it is well-rounded. Regular discussions there generally consist of sex, spending money, & ridiculing successful entertainers, but any topic can break out at any given time depending on who you follow. Personally, I’ve seen Black Twitter expose deadbeat fathers, humiliate rambling race-baiters, & fight for the freedom & justice of random underdogs. So at least in theory, it’s as good as it is bad, if that makes any sense.

Check out the next couple of pages for some choice tweets from/to/about the wide, wonderful underworld of #BlackTwitter.

Words by Tony Grands
@TheTonyGrands
tonygrands@yahoo.com

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