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We first learned and I first reported on the power of Black Twitter back in the summer after the George Zimmerman verdict.

Remember Juror B-37, the first to speak out after the George Zimmerman trial? She had clinched a deal to write a book about her experiences during the trial. That was before she went on CNN and referred to George Zimmerman casually as “George.”

She said, “if they came in the same situation than where Trayvon was then George would have reacted the very same way.”

Black Twitter went ballistic, started a petition and within hours the book deal was dead.

Black Twitter also zeroed in on Paula Deen after she admitted to using the N-word in the past. Deen lost a series of endorsements.

And more recently after the Michael Dunn verdict Black Twitter  started a hashtag  that went viral called “Dangerous Black Kids” which spoofed the fear Dunn testified feeling before shooting up a car full of teenagers and killing 17-year old Jordan Davis.

Now, there is an official Pew Research Center report which shows the growing influence of the Black Twitter internet community.

According to Pew, while a similar number of blacks and whites use the internet, a higher percentage of blacks, 22 percent use twitter compared to whites, 16 percent.

Experts say it’s because black people and those who identify with the black struggle are increasingly using Twitter as an outlet to tell their own stories rather than having the larger culture tell it for them.

Even civil rights organizations like the NAACP are seeing the importance and power of Black Twitter by tying initiatives to twitter by adding hashtags.

Not all black tweeters are Black.

And not all Black people who tweet are part of Black Twitter. But those who are tweet often about race, pop culture and issues that interest the black community.

Black Twitter can be smart, snarky, funny and downright mean. Most times it should be taken with a grain of salt, but sometimes not; just ask Paula Deen or juror B-37.

However, the common criticism of Black Twitter is it is often too snarky, too funny, too mean and not nuanced enough.

But I say, Black Twitter is young and perhaps isn’t yet aware of its own power. Give it time.

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8 thoughts on “Don Lemon: When Will Black Twitter Recognize Its Strength?

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  2. Annwilliams on said:

    You folks must be young and inexperience. Twitter between black folks is essential for of staying in touch with issues impacting our lives. It provided for a chance to dialogue and come up with solution. Yes, the world is black and white, yellow and red. Each race with its own issues and ways to solve or dismiss issues. Twitter is like the media whites folks use to communicate, distort and dismiss issues.

    • iann11 on said:

      But black twitter isn’t doing ANYTHING for black America, you still kill each other everyday in the streets, your communities are still pockets of HELL on earth, you still FAVOR non education vs wanting to be rappers, most black fathers don’t live with the MANY children that they father, I just don’t see any issues that black twitter is HELPING black America with??????????????????????

  3. Annwilliams on said:

    Black twitter is essential and necessary for blacks goes to stay connected with issues that concerns our community. We each need to be apprise of problems and daily dilutions that impact our lives and be able to globally and to rely on each other for solutions. Twitter is a way we can stay connected.

    • iann11 on said:

      But you are an American, I just don’t see the need for a different twitter, we are all living here in America, we all have the same issues, we are all Humans!!!!

  4. iann11 on said:

    Someone please take the time and explain to me what Black Twitter is, and why on God’s green earth do we need it? Regular Twitter will suffice for me!!!!!

  5. Kenneth on said:

    You’ve made good points, but “almost” everything in America is about race. The tea party just didn’t happen; it’s the result of a “fear” brought on by a change in demographics resulting in a “browning” of America.

    BTW, Hispanic is an ethnic group, not a race. There are black, white, brown, and Asian “Hispanics.”

  6. Mac Ben on said:

    Foolishness. 16 percent of whites equals more than 22 percent of black so your point is moot. Black people only make up 13 percent of the US population, as compared to whites, who make up more than 75 percent. EVERYTHING does not have to be black and white or race. What about Asian Twitter and Hispanic Twitter??? By the way, there are more hispanics in America than blacks, too!

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