#BlackTwitter blocks the worst book you’ll never read

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You may not be on Twitter as much as some of us, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t point you to the ever so awesome groundswell of hive minded socially conscious action with twerk that is #BlackTwitter. (Yeah, I said it.) And Monday night, the world witnessed Genie Lauren (@moreandagain) galvanize #BlackTwitter to block a book deal for Juror B37 from the George Zimmerman Trial. Lauren searched for the name of the literary agent who was representing Juror B37, tweeted her name to her followers, created a Change.org petition and within hours, the deal was dead.


We’re not new to this rodeo. Just weeks before #BlackTwitter clowned Paula Deen so hard after a deposition was leaked from a civil suit against Deen, her brother and her affiliated companies about the mistreatment of her black employees, further revealing a cornucopia of racially held attitudes and practices. Deen has subsequently been dropped from a host of corporate sponsors and the Food Network cancelled her show.

Shani Hilton at BuzzFeed writes:

That obsessive and focused online conversation has gone from being a source of entertainment — and outside curiosity — to a cultural force in its own right. Black Twitter began making jokes at Paula Deen’s expense in order to keep from crying — but ultimately drove the narrative around her and sped her demise. Black Twitter put the ABC show Scandal at the center of the elite conversation. Now, black folks on Twitter aren’t just influencing the conversation online, they’re creating it.

To quote host and editor of This Week in Blackness’ Elon James White, ‘It’s NOT a GAME!’ Our not so secret online community is now visible, kinda like black people IRL to some white people, who say they don’t see color until someone points it out. We’ve always been here my dude, we’re standing right next to you.

A bee hive with the Twitter symbol in black.

(Also, this Buzzfeed illustration is so #bawse. Like a #blacktwitter batsignal.)

SYREETA MCFADDEN is a Brooklyn based writer, photographer and adjunct professor of English. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Guardian, BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, Religion Dispatches and Storyscape Journal. She is the managing editor of the online literary magazine, Union Station, and a co-curator of Poets in Unexpected Places. You can follow her on Twitter @reetamac.

Syreeta McFadden is a contributing opinion writer for The Guardian US and an editor of Union Station Magazine.

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