Black Twitter Growing Into Online Force

Dr. Ellis is a former producer of OUR COMMON GROUND.

The Chicago Defender

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The hashtag gave it away.

When a Florida jury convicted Michael Dunn of attempted murder, but not actual murder, in the shooting death of black teenager Jordan Davis, the hashtag (hash)dangerousblackkids popped up on Twitter. Users posted photos of black babies and toddlers, spoofing the fear that Dunn testified he felt before opening fire on a car full of teens at a convenience store.

That hashtag was the calling card of Black Twitter, a small corner of the social media giant where an unabashedly black spin on life gets served up in 140-character installments.

Black Twitter holds court on pretty much everything from President Barack Obama to the latest TV reality show antics. But Black Twitter can also turn activist quickly. When it does, things happen – like the cancellation of a book deal for a juror in the George Zimmerman trial, or the demise of Zimmerman’s subsequent attempt…

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