Note: I wrote this last year and never posted it. It was a heated topic at the time and I didn’t want to add to the mêlée. I probably shouldn’t bother now, but I think some of the points are still solid and I hate to see words go to waste. Plus, it’s my blog and I can post what I want to.
Anjuan (@anjuan) of Black Web 2.0 (@BlackWeb20) recently wrote 2 posts pointing out the Top 100 most powerful black people on Twitter (link below). One highlighting women and the other highlighting men. Everyone is all pissed about these lists for one reason or another.
Let’s go ahead and ignore the fact that most lists are not perfect by default because they will always be missing something or someone. Let’s also ignore the fact that I haven’t seen any other site trying to highlight the black community while focusing on emerging technologies.
Not understanding the outrage and anger that I see about this. It’s plainly stated what tools were used in the analysis. It’s a list to spark discussion, just like most others. Instead of filling in the blanks or having a productive conversation as to why the list looks like it does, we have people nitpicking about how black some on the list are. People have taken to Twitter to attack Black Web for even taking the time.
The Real Discussion
Elon James White himself, who was actually overlooked, hits the nail on the head in the comments saying, “That’s the conversation that we should be having. How do we as Black people change the national conversation on race and perception when we AS BLACK PEOPLE aren’t even aware of the different voices that are out there.”
Based solely on the numbers, these lists are what any publication would come up with. So, rather than complaining, we should be coming up with solutions. This is how the world sees us, folks.
Celebs Will Always Dominate
Athletes and Rappers and other celebs will dominate the web because they are already popular. They already have people “following” them in real life, not just on Twitter. Not only that, as @DryerBuzz points out, many of these celebs are promoted even further by Twitter itself.
It was pure luck that I came across folks like @iluvblackwomen, @blogdiva, @corvida, and @waynesutton. The only reason I even figured out Black Web 2.0 existed was because they linked a video of mine and someone (I think @solacetech) gave me a heads up.
While the numbers don’t lie, they also don’t always tell the whole story. If you don’t like how the black community is represented on Twitter, change it. Promote those who you think deserve to be promoted at every chance you get. Reach out to people outside of your circle, don’t wait for them to find you.
The 100 Most Powerful Black Men on Twitter « Black Web 2.0.