New Criticals

One critical example of this construction reveals itself in the rise of ‘Black Twitter’. The word black conjoined with Twitter leads to an understanding that equates to a segregated section of twitter populated only with blacks, or at least black culture. To say the user need not be black to participate or that black twitter doesn’t encompass all blacks (as this piece suggests) would certainly make the wording of the phrase inappropriate. For the sake of this piece, though, the topic at hand is perception and Black Twitter as a phrase definitely speaks to the perceived notion that it is the representation of black people on social media: what they care about, how they behave and what opinions they hold.

‘Black Twitter’, as a particular digitally mediated communication space, prominence can largely be traced to Twitters use during and after the Trayvon Martin Case. Outspoken social media users made their opinions known with hash-tags like #wearealltrayvon. Users of these hash-tags, consciously and unconsciously, distinguished themselves with justifications that Trayvon could have been ‘on of them’ or ‘their children’. Nevertheless hasty conclusions like this can be a slippery slope. The aforementioned event is likely more of a circumstance of attire combined with the “thuggish” stereotype than a matter of simple racism. Thus, we are not all Trayvon. All that is seen through the construction of the ‘Monolithic Negro’, though, is a crime against itself.