Earlier this week, Nicki Minaj partnered with TikTok to create a forum for her and Black creators to meet and celebrate Black History Month. However, the space was invaded by non-Black creators who were reportedly in the center of the conversation, reported Buzzfeed News. Black TikTok creators shared their frustration following the event and Nicki vowed to have a redo to grant them back their space.
Initially, some non-Black creators attempted to clap back and defend themselves claiming they were Black by association or were entitled to be in the conversation because they value learning about Black history. Obviously, there was a disconnect.
Black TikTok user Noah posted a video sharing his perspective of the situation, quoting from the email invitation he received reading the event was “kicking off Black History Month with an exclusive virtual TikTok creator meet up with the queen herself.”
From Noah’s TikTok:
It’s interesting to me that they’re kicking off Black History Month but after this Zoom all the non-Black creators are very excited and all the Black creators are very upset.
I’m a part of TikTok’s own Black TikTok and we have a group chat together and so I know firsthand there were multiple people that did not get links or were unable to log in because the Zoom was so full.
I believe they ended up fixing it a little bit. I was able to get in. I know some people couldn’t. Those of us that could get into the Zoom, we were very interested to see that many of the creators in there were actually non-Black.
Maybe that’s not inherently wrong but the majority of questions, did go to non-Black creators. It’s very ironic and frustrating to have a Black History Months event and not give a safe space to Black creators.
Popular Black TikTok creator Niccoya made a video referencing the same concern. In response, a non-Black user defended his attendance on the grounds of Black History being for everyone to learn from and remember. We’re not trying to gate keep. It’s a matter of reclaiming our space. Niccoya had a few choice words for him.
From Niccoya’s TikTok:
I’m so happy that you have a choice; the choice to be interested in my culture. I’m so happy for you because as a Black woman, I don’t have a choice to be interested in Black history. I live Black history. I am Black history. And since you’re so interested in Black history, I hope you’ve done your research. Black people have constantly been silenced and white people have been made the face of our movement.
If you’re so interested in Black people, wouldn’t you think to yourself, “Oh, TikTok is holding a Black History Month event with Nicki Minaj and they’re inviting all of these Black creators who are so excited to go. Maybe I should allow Black people to have this experience. Maybe I should give this privilege to a Black person during Black History Month.”
Another Black user, Quen Williams, responded to the same non-Black user using an analogy to Hispanic Heritage Month. She said if TikTok was holding an event to celebrate Hispanic Heritage and invited Selena (for theoretical example), she would feel uncomfortable attending. “I’d never want to take a seat from someone in the Latinx community nor would I want to take up space by asking all the damn questions because it’s not my place and it’s inconsiderate,” Williams said. “I side with Miss Niccoya in that it was very strange to have a bunch of non-Black people on an event that was for Black History Month”
User ‘Bryanthediamond’ defended his right to be in a Black space by claiming various family members of his were Black, though he does not identify as Black himself. Y’all can imagine what the response was to that post.
Nicki responded to the conflict when she went on Instagram Live following the event, according to E! News. “I hear you guys. I heard what you were saying. Let me see if I can schedule something for you guys, because trust me I heard y’all loud and clear,” said Nicki via Instagram Live.