Why Black Twitter Activism Isn’t The Only Form Of Activism We Need To Engage In
We woke on Twitter, now what?
August 15, 2017 at 12:11 pm
I love Black Twitter. I love the slander, the shade, the tea and the funny videos. But above all, I love the camaraderie: I love that we can virtually reconvene on this social outlet and laugh, critically debate and grieve together, just about anything. Millennials, in general, get a lot of slack for the way technology has replaced the way we go about communication and activism. As a millennial, I agree. Typing 140 characters behind the screen has definitely replaced the 140 actionable steps we can take towards true activism in our communities.
I’ve written 140 characters about how woke I am… Now what?
Let’s be real. A handful of us can tweet and complain about all the injustices happening in our everyday communities until the cows come home, but do we really believe that we can talk the talk without walking the walk? I mean that literally, too.
For example, data suggests that our conversations have periodically peaked based on national injustices from nearly 2 million tweets per day to rarely exceeding 100,000 tweets days after the big event. The same data also concludes that black youth have discussed police brutality recurrently, but it has differed significantly from the way activists have discussed this topic. In other words, we’re putting in some of our best work and energy to these hashtags and tweets, but not nearly enough work spreading the word and getting our peers to collaborate outside of Twitter. Being "woke" is a movement that extends far beyond 140 characters, and we’ve, unfortunately, confined a considerable part of this movement strictly to social media.
Black Twitter can be a great place to ignite the revolution, but it is NOT the revolution.
If you really think about it, Twitter is probably one of the best ways to gather like-minded people for a greater cause, but it is not the call to action itself. You’ve acquired a great following due to your undefeated "woke tweets." Now, how will you compliment the amount retweets with an organization or service you actively support? Where are your activism receipts? 40 percent of African Americans between the ages of 18-29 are Twitter users. The revolution continues in places where we can work with nonprofit organizations that can help transmit being "woke" into actionable steps. If you don’t know how to begin, find the support of ACLU, Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign. These organizations have worked against inequalities and with our communities for decades, and can help you gear up for some real activism work.
How do we actually bridge the gap between technology and actual activism?
I’m always here for the "woke" tweets, but if we’re going to try to really do the "woke" movement, let’s seek out these like-minded peers in our local area and set up actionable meeting sessions. Remember that activism stems from a place of true engagement. It may not be a bad idea either to slide up in some DMs of some of your favorite activists—for the cause of course.