Everyone knows that the most interesting part of social media is dominated by Black people. Now, we’re finally getting our due for how much we bring to the party. According to Deadline, Insecure executive producer Prentice Penny is directing Black Twitter, a three-part docuseries for Hulu. Based on Jason Parham’s story for Wired, A People’s History of Black Twitter, the project follows “the rise, the movements, the voices and the memes that made Black Twitter an influential and dominant force in nearly every aspect of American political and cultural life.”
Well it’s about time. All your most fun moments and best trends came from Black Twitter. Anytime something crazy happens during a live event, you instantly need to know what Black Twitter is saying about it. Since previous boss Jack Dorsey and current owner Elon Musk clearly have no interest in recognizing our importance to their business, someone needs to tell the story.
As hate groups once again find their footing on social media, now is the time to recognize how crucial Black people are to the influence of social media. Oftentimes, our impact on society isn’t truly understood until well after the fact. Hopefully, this series will outline exactly how essential we are to Twitter’s success.
“For those who know me you know how much love, respect, fear, and admiration I have for #BlackTwitter so I can’t be more excited and scared to a doc about the culture - just remember im doing this in love,” Penny tweeted with an announcement of the news.
In Parham’s piece, he details how Black Twitter began in September 2009 with a fun hashtag. In no time it became abundantly clear that we were all out there, just waiting for the right moment to bring us together on the platform.
“It was the [Sept. 6, 2009] at exactly 4:25 pm, when [Ashley] Weatherspoon logged on to Twitter and wrote, ‘#uknowurblackwhen u cancel plans when its raining,’” Parham wrote. “The hashtag spread like wildfire. Within two hours, 1.2 percent of all Twitter correspondence revolved around Weatherspoon’s hashtag, as Black users riffed on everything from car rims to tall tees. It was the viral hit she was after—and confirmation of a rich fabric being threaded together across the platform. Here, in all its melanated glory, was Black Twitter.”
As fascinating as this topic is, it’s also very broad. It will be interesting to see how Penny, Parham and the rest of the team personalize and humanize Black Twitter into more than just a unique corner of social media.