We Get It: Black People Like Twitter


Apparently black folks are terribly interesting.

I mean, everything we do is fascinating. The way we vote. The way we dance. The way we apparently don't say "muthaf—-er" when we're asking for a glass of iced tea. We're just so fascinating. So when black Americans started using the social media service Twitter, a slew of articles came down the pike. Everyone was just so intrigued by #BlackTwitter's magic and its members' tweets and interactions with one another. Articles on the subject took on the feel of an anthropological study of an alien species: 


"She's a Christian, but isn't afraid of sex. She seems to have some problems trusting men, but she's not afraid of them, either. She's very proud of her fiscal responsibility. She looks lovely in her faux modeling shots, although I am surprised how much her style aligns with what I consider mall fashion when she's a grown woman in her twenties. Her home is Detroit and she's finding the process of buying a new car totally frustrating. She spends an embarrassing amount of time tweeting responses to the Kardashian family."
—"Why I Stalk a Sexy Black Woman on Twitter," Gizmodo

That's a real article.

This week, Gawker published "Why So Many Black People Are on Twitter." The blog post tells us that a recent study shows that teenagers who like celebrities will use Twitter more. And black teenagers love themselves some celebrities. Voilà! Now we understand!

Stop. Please just stop. 

Writing so much about black Twitter is just — what's the word I'm looking for — silly. Our actions on the site just aren't that amazing. We (El Negroes) are like everybody else. We have sections and subsections that cover wildly different things. Some follow ignorant nonsense like comedian Lil' Duval and tweet constantly about The Game. Others write poetry and dissect policy and question power structure.

I think I've finally hit that magical wall where I can't deal with any more faux anthropological studies about how my people interact on the social networking service. There isn't any need to "study" this anymore. If you want to "study" something, study why, in the postracial year of 2011, 13 percent of the population is still treated like "other." Study why our women are psychologically attacked and deemed ugly and unworthy of marriage, and our men looked at as thugs even when the highest office in the land shows otherwise. In a country that's supposed to be past race, people can't seem to understand why those of us with more pigment tweet a lot.

"It's because black people's Twitter numbers are disproportionate to your numbers in the population!"

So what? So are our numbers in prisons. That would be a way more interesting study in the year 2011. Why don't we figure out the institutionalized issues affecting the community, as opposed to figuring out why @LeroyJacksonBeBallinSon* really likes Nicki Minaj so frickin' much. How are a people ever to be looked at as simply people if they can't participate in regular things like Twitter without a thesis being written about it?

In all honesty, I think I could've written this whole article in one sentence.

"Stop f—-ing writing articles about Negroes on Twitter. It's not that f—-ing interesting."


But who'd print that?

*I made up this Twitter name, but if there is a @LeroyJacksonBeBallinSon, I will go follow him immediately.


Elon James White is a writer-comedian and host of the award-winning Web series This Week in Blackness and the Internet radio show Blacking It Up. Yes, he's on Twitter.

Elon James White is a writer and satirist and host of the award-winning video and radio series This Week in Blackness. Listen Monday to Thursday at 1:30 p.m. EST at TWIB.FM and watch at TV.TWIB.ME/LIVE. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Tumblr.