Why it is necessary to tell the history of black Twitter

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If you were on Twitter, then you were on Black Twitter. No other social media subsection has produced ideas and movements as influential or as dynamic as those emanating from black voices on Twitter. In the early days, it existed as a space where blacks could connect, beat up some jokes, and share their experiences. Over time, the Twitter community of Twitter has become a driving force for social change in the real world. This catalyzed the culture and led to important movements like #OscarsSoWhite, #MeToo and of course Black Lives Matter.

This week at Gadget Lab, we’re joined by senior WIRED writer Jason Parham to discuss his three-part oral history called “The Black History of Black Twitter,” what it means to be black online, and how black Twitter has changed society.

Show Notes

Read Jason’s oral history of black Twitter (Part I,, Part II,, Part III). Read also its cover page from September 2020 about TikTok and the evolution of the digital black face.

Recommendations

Jason recommends the show Jett on Cinemax. Lauren recommends the July 28 episode The Daily podcast, Saga of Congress, January 6th. Mike recommends Summer of the soul and Hulu.

Jason Parham can be found on Twitter @nonlinear notes. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Call the main phone number at @GadgetLab. The production of the show is signed by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our themed music is by Solar Keys.

If you have feedback on the show or just want to come in to win a $ 50 gift card, fill out our short listener survey here.

How to listen

You can always listen to this week’s podcast via the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to each episode, here’s how:

If you’re using an iPhone or iPad, open the podcast app or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts and look for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Podcasts app tapping here. We’re on our way Spotify also. And in case you really need it, here is the RSS feed.


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