Black Twitter is more than just a central location for people of African descent. It's a meeting of the minds. A place for social commentary, laughter, social justice and the overall black experience. We come together to discuss major events from huge moments during the reality star's presidential inauguration to a live tweet session of major TV events and everything in between.
There's never a dull moment. We are the life of the party.
Twitter arrived on the tech scene in 2006 and truly hit notoriety in late 2009 continuing to 2010 becoming the fastest growing social network site for information. By late 2014, the term "Black Twitter" was coined for our dynamic discussions and shade throwing sessions.
Remember life before Twitter?
Life was different. Breaking news took a few hours, even a few days to circulate. Imagine if Twitter was around back in the day. Here are 19 historical moments that would have been trending for days on Black Twitter.
1. Nat Turner's Rebellion
Nat Turner, the focus of Nate Parker's 2016 film The Birth of a Nation, was the mastermind behind one of America's bloodiest slave revolts. Turner led nearly 70 armed slaves and freedmen to kill dozens of white families throughout Virginia. Following his capture, Turner admitted in a jailhouse confession that he was led by spiritual visions. Turner and several individuals in his mob were executed.
1831 Black Twitter: "Welp."
2. When Abraham Lincoln Signed the Emancipation Proclamation
In late 1862, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln urged rebellious states to return to the Union by January 1. If not, Lincoln threatened to grant freedom to slaves within those Confederate states. The war continued with no compromise in sight. Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 promising freedom to the enslaved. There was a small caveat, though. The proclamation only pertained to slaves living in the 10 states outside of Union control.
1863 Black Twitter: "Abraham Lincoln does not care about black people."
3. The Plessy v. Ferguson Ruling
In 1892, Homer Plessy was arrested for sitting in a Louisiana railroad car designated for white passengers. Under the state's law, he was required to sit in the "colored" section. Plessy entered in a legal battle arguing his 13th and 14th Amendment rights were in violation. Eventually, the case entered the Supreme Court ending in the court upholding Louisiana's law of separate accommodations for blacks and whites, which in turn birthed Jim Crow.
1896 Black Twitter: "Separate is not equal. They tried it."
4. The Great Migration
Once the Civil War ended and the Reconstruction era began, freed slaves and a new generation faced a number of challenges to make a living. With threats and intimidation from white Southerners and unfair labor practices, the way of life seemed ultimately impossible. Approximately six million African-Americans migrated from the South to Northeastern and Midwest regions from 1915 to 1970 known as the Great Migration. As the industrial revolution led to a boom in America's economy, more opportunities were made available for black families.
1915 Black Twitter: "Calling out sick tomorrow for good. #weout"
Photo: "Forrest Gump"
5. The Stock Market Crash of 1929
Wall Street investors traded a record 16,410,030 shares on the New York Stock Exchange known as Black Tuesday. Stock tickers lagged because the machinery was not equipped for the heavy trading traffic. Billions of dollars eventually went down the drain. As a result millions became unemployed and stock prices fell. Meet the Great Depression, an economic downturn leveling the playing field for all. Everyone suffered in this crisis.
1929 Black Twitter: "Two centuries of free labor and ya'll can't balance America's checkbook. Unbelievable."
6. The Entire Harlem Renaissance
As black communities thrived in Northern regions as a result of the Great Migration, an artistic and intellectual movement was born. Poets, writers, scholars, musicians and great thinkers were free to express themselves during a time known as the Harlem Renaissance. An explosion of vibrancy and black pride filled the streets of Harlem from the late 20's to mid-30's.
1931 Black Twitter: "#cottonclub #nicholasbrotherschallenge #LIT #SupportBlackBusiness #BuyBlack #BlackOut #newnegrowhodis"
7. When Jesse Owens Won The Olympics
Jesse Owens made history at the 1936 Berlin games winning four gold medals, setting three world records. Adolf Hitler’s theory of Aryan superiority was quickly dispelled.
1936 Black Twitter: "Hey Nazis, you mad?"
8. Hattie McDaniel Becoming the First African American to Win An Oscar
In the 1930's, Black entertainers entered into uncharted territory in Hollywood. For her performance as Mammy in Gone With the Wind, actress Hattie McDaniel became the first African-American to win an Oscar. A favor was called in to allow McDaniel to attend the ceremony at the hotel. A non-black hotel.
1940 Black Twitter: "Hattie won, but she couldn't sit at the table with her white co-stars? #OscarsSoSegregated"
Photo: "How to Get Away With Murder"
9. America Entering World War II
The 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor began the American involvement in World War II. President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared war on Japan also entering into conflict with Germany and Italy.
1942 Black Twitter: "When your President invades other countries and denounces Hitler but won't do anything about Jim Crow down South."
10. Elvis Presley Gets TV Shine Time
In the early 1950's radio continued to be a powerhouse medium. More programming premiered on TV, but with limitations. Elvis' risque pelvic thrusts were once deemed too hot for TV with censors warning that his performances be filmed from the waist up. His upbeat music and signature moves quickly became a fan favorite for sex crazed teens. Elvis became the "King of Rock and Roll" and controversially known as one of America's greatest offenders of cultural appropriation.
1956 Black Twitter: "When white people plagiarize, you get a B and they get an A."
11. Martin Luther King Jr. Delivers "I Have A Dream"
Civil Rights legend Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a riveting message on equality, thus exposing America's ugly truths in his stirring and iconic "I Have a Dream" speech during the March on Washington.
1963 Black Twitter: "Me when MLK said ''We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.'"
12. The Voting Right's Act of 1965
After decades of poll taxes, intimidation and literacy tests, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Right's Act into law, enforcing 15th Amendment rights for African-Americans at every level.
1965 Black Twitter: "How me and the squad are showing up to vote, flexin' on the Klan."
Photo: Awesomely Luvvie
13. Shirley Chisholm Runs for President
Before America was "with her", Shirley Chisholm became the first African-American and woman to seek a major party nomination for President of the United States.
1972 Black Twitter: "#blackgirlmagic #theymad #shirleydidthat"
14. The Vietnam War Era
An estimated 60,000 American soldiers became casualties in the Vietnam War. The conflict between South Vietnam and North Vietnam began in the 1940's with the war taking shape in 1954. The U.S., prime ally to South Vietnam, entered combat by 1965. Two years later the total of American troops in Vietnam hit 500,000 as men were soon recruited by the Selective Service System, also known as the draft. Anti-war protests broke out in the U.S. and draft dodgers were punished.
1969-1973 Black Twitter: "When the feds want you to fight for them but they won't fight for you. #draftcardiscanceledparty"
15. The Attempted Assassination of President Ronald Reagan
John Hinckley Jr. shot at President Reagan, the U.S. press secretary and two law enforcement officers outside a Washington hotel. A scary time for the President who vetoed an anti-apartheid bill for South Africa, ignored the AIDS crisis and put a dent in the American debt.
1981 Black Twitter: "My coworkers are crying about #Reagan... sooo who's live tweeting Diff'rent Strokes with me tonight? #reaganomics #warondrugs #notmypresident"
16. The O.J. Simpson Trial
Disgraced NFL hall of fame honoree O.J. Simpson is charged with the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in June 1994. The media saturated and high-profile trial quickly became a case about race, dividing the masses on whether Simpson was capable of murder.
Mid-1995 Black Twitter "Me when the glove didn't fit. #OJTrial"
17. The OJ Simpson Verdict
After compelling closing arguments from the defense, a jury acquits Simpson in October 1995.
Late 1995 Black Twitter: "That moment when you're the only black person in the room and the juror says 'not guilty'. #OJTrial #OJDidIt #JohnnieStillTheGOAT #datmurda #HTGAWM"
Photo: ABC Family
18. President Clinton's Affair with Monica Lewinsky
President Bill Clinton began a secret affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky in 1995, but the scandal wouldn't be made public for nearly three years. An investigation began and Clinton lied under federal oath about engaging in a sexual relationship with Lewinsky ultimately resulting in his impeachment. Years of embarrassment and shame would follow the Clinton administration.
1998 Black Twitter: "Me when he said, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" but I knew it was a lie. Good luck if Mrs. Clinton ever runs for POTUS. #thatsover #thatscancelled"
19. George W. Bush's 2nd Term
Two words; Hurricane Katrina.
2005 Black Twitter: "FAM, let's turn up at the polls in 2008."
We transcend time. Black people are resilient, history proves it.
What moments do you wish Black Twitter was around for? Let us know below in the comments.