Black Twitter is a magical place where those of us with melanin infused skin can get together and talk about things in our lives that we all go through. Don’t get me wrong, we all love the everyday aspect of this social media site, but when people of African ancestry connect it’s something extra special. It can be an environment of empowerment, strength, triumph, and every now and again, it’s somewhere we can come to crack jokes. When a person creates a topic that’s relatable and funny, the community just takes it and runs with it. Some of the best tweets have originated from one of these comical ideas. There have been some great ones throughout the years, and I’m sure that there will be many more to come!
At the end of last year, a White supremacist pushed for his fellow brothers and sisters to make fake twitter accounts of Black people so that they could create a state of distrust among Black twitter users. After hearing about his, some wonderful human being developed a verification process for us, and we all just rolled with it. It was just a joke of course (you don’t really have to show proof that you’re of African descent to participate in this sect of the well-known social media site), but it did spark a series of inquires that any imposter would not be able to answer. Questions like, “Who is the real Aunt Viv from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “What city do you meet in to fight someone over tweets,” and “Was it a ‘Dancerie’ or a “Dance soirée” gave us a taste of how funny the whole thing was.
Back in 2015, the NAACP’s Spokane chapter President, Rachel Dolezal, was outed by her biological parents when they told the world that their daughter was a white woman who was pretending to be Black. When Dolezal was confronted about this by a Spokane reporter, she claimed to not understand the question and then she proceeded to walk away. After hearing about this controversy, Black Twitter was on the scene once again. #AskRachel was created to troll this lady who had the audacity to fake her ethnicity. This series has a similar concept as the verification process. If Rachel was really African American then she would be able to answer the questions posed by the hashtag, but since she was clearly an imposter there was no way in hell that she could.
When you were growing up, you were bound to have some similar experiences as other kids. People who are alike (whether it is because of their gender, the place they lived, or where they went to school), are going to have things that they can relate to. When you grow up Black, there are a host of shared situations. A lot of these moments weren’t funny when we were children, but now that we’re all adults we can look back on them and laugh. Knowing how your mom would react if you forgot to take the chicken out the freezer was terrifying when you were eight, but now that you’re twenty eight you can chuckle about her over reaction. I still have vivid memories of tears streaming down my face while my mom combed my hair as I sat between her legs. But now that that I don’t have to deal with that anymore, I can just look at those tweets and take solace in the fact that I wasn’t the only girl who had to go through this.
Getting your hair done at a salon was a rite of passage that every young Black girl went through. We all remember our first time there and how pretty our hair looked after it was finished. But as you got older, you started to realize that there was a whole lot more BS that you had to deal with just to make sure that your tresses were on point. #BlackSalonProblems described all the pains that you had to go through whenever you went to the beauty shop. We all know what it’s like to have a 10:00 AM appointment, but not have your beautician start on you until 6:00 PM. Everyone can recall the throbbing headache you have after getting your braids done. And don’t even get me started on the “trims,” that ended with us losing inches of our hair!
In 2014, Time came out with an article that attempted to explain the term “bae.” I mean, the last thing we needed was for a publication (that knows absolutely nothing about our language) to devote an entire article trying to explain our slang. Black twitter once again saw the hilarity in the situation, and thus #TimeTitles was born. This one originated from a comedian named Pia Glenn, and once she started it, the hits just kept coming. The hashtag was essentially fake headlines that Time could make. The captions were all topics that are a part of our popular culture that the famous news site has no business trying to enlighten the general population about. Banners like, “So if I can’t use your phone, how exactly would you suggest I call Tyronne anyway” and “Frequent use of ‘you play too much’ hints at video game addiction in the Black community,” had us laughing for days.
Before there was #TimeTitles, there was #ABCReports. In 2013, when twerking had reached its peak, ABC did a report on a researcher’s study about the dance move. As if it wasn’t ridiculous enough for someone to do research on this phenomenon, it was even crazier for a major news network to pick it up. And of course there was no way that they could get by without having Black Twitter make fun of them for this so called “story.” What ensued was a series of headlines that described trivial moments in the lives of Black people. Tweets like, “I brought you into this world, I’ll take you out: how Black mothers found the gateway to heaven tonight at 10pm” and “When the street lights come on: A look into African American curfew,” ran across our twitter feeds, and we were more than thankful for this hashtag.
Back in early in 2016, Cosmopolitan ran a story about how “hair tattoos” were the newest trend. Black people have been getting designs in their haircuts since barbershops started popping up in our neighborhoods. We’ve been rocking this look for decades and then in 2016, this magazine decides that it’s fashionable! Needless to say, when Black twitter caught wind of this, they went in on Cosmo. #CosmoHeadlines spawned tweets about things that were already in existence that this publication could make “popular” just by changing its name. Dreadlocks were now “headropes,” Collard greens were “collard salads,” and macaroni and cheese became “cheesy noodle casserole!” As always the community did an excellent job at highlighting the ludicrousness of people out there who want to steal from us and claim it as their own.
In America, Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends to come together. But as many of us know, when a large group of people get together, sometimes fighting will ensue. This is especially true when it comes to gathering together with relatives. The altercations aren’t always physical, and a lot of time they are done playfully. As #ThanksgivingClapbacks showed us, Black people definitely know what it’s like to have to deal with these types of issues. When we all link up for a holiday, we see cousins and uncles and aunts that we haven’t seen in years. Many times we have unresolved problems with these people, so when an opportunity presents itself for us to be petty, we jump on it. This hashtag represented these moments.
7. Barber: What you want?
When you walk past a Black man, you’re definitely going to see him with a fresh haircut. Now usually I don’t like to generalize, but when it comes to compliments I’m more willing to do it. So when I say that 90% of the time brothas rock their fades and their tapered cuts, I mean it. This is a pretty high percentage, which means that most Black guys fall into this category, but every now and again something horrible happens. The “Barber: What you want?” meme originated from these moments. These are times that you look at a man and wonder what he was thinking when he got that cut. It’s the type of hair that you have to do a double take at just to make sure that your eyes aren’t deceiving you. Not everyone has a good experience at the shop, and these styles are proof.
In March 2015, Otis Byrd, a Black man, was found hanging from a tree in Mississippi. Even though his death hadn’t been attributed to him getting mixed up with a crime, CNN still reported about him being a criminal. Once again, Black people took to twitter, to call them out on their BS. #CNNBeLike, created tweets that the station could use as a headline. The captions always used photos and situations that this news outlet could twist and turn into something negative. Tweets like, “Pregnant Black woman arrested. Fetus likely had gang ties” and “unarmed Black teen shot 27 times by decorated officer, records show that the teen cheated on a spelling test in 2nd grade,” highlighted the absurdity of the way that they described Otis.
5. When Black Men Started Taking Their Girlfriend’s Headwraps
So regardless of your ethnicity, there are probably many guys out there who can relate to having girlfriends that take their clothes from them. Every man in a relationship with a woman has had her “borrow,” his hoodie, or shorts, or t-shirt, only to have her keep it forever. About a month ago, Black men decided that enough was enough and that they were going to start stealing our headwraps as a punishment for the clothing items that they would never get back. This not-so-serious movement resulted with our guys posting pictures of themselves wearing the same kinds of wraps that Black women wear on their heads. Some of them even had better knotting techniques than the ladies that they “took” the hair pieces from!
All Americans have their traditions for Thanksgiving, but in general many people gather together with their family’s and eat dinner as they take time to appreciate everything that they’re thankful for in their lives. That being said, there are some things that differ from family to family and from race to race. By and large, African Americans aren’t going to have the same experience at the great feast as someone of a different ethnicity, and Black Twitter was quick to share our experiences. They talked about everything from the pride that your grandmother has when everyone is eating her food all the way to the moment that your heart starts to break when you’re starving and your uncle has been saying grace for ten minutes. If you’ve experienced it, #ThanksgivingWithBlackFamilies has covered it!
Hello. How you doing? What’s up? These are all greetings that we’re familiar with, but some groups of people say “hey,” differently then the rest of us. It’s hard to comprehend a different language (Just imagine being an English speaker trying to listen to a conversation someone is having in German), but sometimes it can be just as difficult to understand something in a language that you do speak. If you’re not used to someone’s slang, then it could be like trying to pick up a foreign tongue. That being said, #BlackMenGreetings may be difficult for you to grasp if you aren’t a Black guy, but for anyone who has heard these on a regular basis, you know that there’s nothing but love when one man says it to another.
At the beginning of April, Pepsi came out with an ad starring Kendall Jenner. If you haven’t seen it yet, I’ll break it down for you. The commercial takes place at a protest like the ones that have been developing over the past few years in response to the atrocities that have been happening to minority populations across the world. Essentially, everything becomes right with the world because she takes a can of Pepsi to a police officer. And at the end of the video you realize that Pepsi is the answer to world peace! A lot of backlash has resulted from this advertisement, but as always, some people like to use satire to highlight the absurdity of a situation. The responses that have been generating from this campaign are no different. However, some of the best reactions can be attributed to Black Twitter.
There are some moments that are relatable to everyone in a given group of people. For Black people, these situations are practically endless. Everyone in our community knows what it really means if they say that their church service starts at 10 am. We all know what’s going to result if we talk back to our mother. But what would happen, if the things that we expected to occur didn’t actually take place. Like how amazing would it be if when the pastor said that he’s going to be done with his sermon in ten minutes, he’d actually be done with it in ten minutes? And how excited would you be if when you asked your mom for McDonalds she said that she had McDonalds money at that she would buy you something? These fantasy situations are what #BlackPlotTwists are all about.