To honor and commemorate Black History Month, MediaJustice presents “That’s So Black,” a content series dedicated to spotlighting how Black people and our culture are the creators of Internet culture as we know it today.
From the ways we communicate with one another to how we build community across borders, Black culture has served as the blueprint for Internet culture and popular culture at-large. Since its inception, the Internet (particularly social media) has created environments where Black people can produce our own content, broadcast happenings (that mainstream media outlets choose to neglect and ignore), and convene together to discuss everything from police abolition to the series finale of Insecure.
However, white supremacy and capitalism extract from our communities, and the Internet is yet another site for corporations to profit off of our culture while exploiting and dehumanizing our people. From the misuse, cooptation, and exploitation of AAVE and queer ballroom slang to the surveillance and theft of ideas, analysis, and content from Black Twitter and Black creatives on TikTok, this only begins to scratch the surface of the continued violence and commodification we endure online. Black people (particularly those who are queer, disabled, undocumented, and marginalized) turn to the Internet to share our histories, experiences, and legacies of our people across the diaspora while navigating the tension between the Internet as a tool for connection & liberatory organizing and consistently having to contend with the many risks and pitfalls of relying on white supremacist and capitalist media platforms.
All month long, follow along on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook as we share how Black people have always been the earliest adopters of media platforms and how we’ve created Internet culture. We’ll explore: