It’s a known fact that the black community drives popular social media and tech alike. Even though there seems to be a digital divide— Black people are less likely to have access to home internet — but that doesn’t stop us from being online and driving the world’s most popular trends.
Look at Twitter. It’s undeniable that “Black Twitter” has dominated the platform since its inception. And some of the biggest cultural moments in the last 5-10 years have come from the group. After a little research, I found that in 2018, 28% of Twitter users were black, and as of 2021– the number has increased to 37%.
Talk about dominating!
Although Black culture is the main driver behind the tech and social media, can we say we have received our dues?
I want you guys to think about this: About 2 or 3 years ago, the top five biggest tech companies- Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple & Amazon were worth $3 Trillion bucks! That’s more than the value of the UK Economy— oh wait, there’s more.
Only four national economies are larger than these tech giants— the US, China, Japan & Germany. Geez!
Black leadership in the tech space is at an all-time low— but black content creation in tech and social media is insanely high. Think about how boring TIKTOK became when all black creators went on strike.
Or how the strike prevented many artists from seeing a spike in music popularity because black creators weren’t creating anything for their music.
People have to remember when talking about tech and its relationship to Black people that without our investments into these tech platforms, their dominance in the economy would be so much more different.
Kanye said something in an interview that stuck with me, “None of these things you need to be involved in to be down with the culture, are owned by black people…So who designed the culture?
Yes, culture came before all things & Black people have been the force behind that “American” culture for decades. Our language, music, and way of being have been used to drive some of the most viral content and strategies in social media, and the tech industry is no exception.
So my question is— How do we genuinely drive the bridge between our relationship with tech, social media, and digital diversity?
I say, began stepping into tech and creating our OWN way into the space.