Justice

The Necessity of This Twitter Hashtag About Black Women

Twitter trolls tried to ruin a viral hashtag supporting the accomplishments of black women. However, they just ended up proving the hashtag's point.

#BlackWomenDidThat started as a way to talk about the accomplishments of black women in the wake of Democratic presidential nominee and former Secretary of State's historic race for the White House. Clinton is the first female presidential nominee from a major political party and black people responded to the historic moment by sharing the accomplishments of black women. For example, Shirley Chisholm was the first black congresswoman and the first black person to run for president in a major party.

People on Twitter used the hashtag to tweet about ground-breaking black women in politics, activism, and entertainment, along with the black women in their communities who affected them personally.

However, as with many movements on the internet, the trolls also came out to play with #WhiteWomenDidThat.

The #WhiteWomenDidThat hashtag aims to discredit #BlackWomenDidThat. Some users called the hashtag for black women "racist" against white people, however the hashtag to support black women aims to counteract the fact that the accomplishments and problems facing black women are often overlooked and deemed less important by society.

For example, black women are now America's most educated group.

Despite the fact that there are many educated black women in the U.S., there are still more pervasive negative depictions of black women in the media than positive ones.

 

Although black people in general face discrimination, black women in particular are even less represented in mainstream media when it comes to police violence. The recent media narrative around the Black Lives Matter movement usually centers on the deaths of black men such as Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, and Philando Castile. But the co-founders of the #BlackLivesMatter movement are women, and black women like Sandra Bland and Tanisha Anderson died under suspicious circumstances in police custody.

There are also much fewer representations of black women in the media in general.

In 2015, The Hollywood Reporter only put white women on the cover of its annual actress round table issue. The cover was apparently a poorly executed attempt to highlight the struggles women face in Hollywood and a lack of diversity at the Academy Awards. However, it received strong backlash for its exclusion of black women.

By trying to discredit support for black women, the #WhiteWomenDidThat hashtag confirms the very point #BlackWomenDidThat is trying to make.

The #BlackWomenDidThat hashtag has been used more than 180,000 times.

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