I am new to Twitter. The “It’s 2015 and I just opened an account two months ago to further promote articles that I write” type of new. Crazy, right? How could I have survived so many years without being connected to thousands of people out in the world who are traveling similar paths to me? Well, trust me it was not hard at all to avoid Twitter when it first premiered.
See, back in my high school days (which ended only three long years ago), Twitter was not used in the same manner that it is utilized now. Back then, it was the go-to place to share all the random thoughts my peers had. The tweets ranged from what they had to breakfast to how bored everyone was in study hall to thoughts about the latest reality show. I heard of this type of commentary from being around my friends every day. This is not to say that their thoughts were not valid at the time. I mean, my peers were sharing the true sentiments of what it meant to be a high school senior on the brink of graduation. It is a stressful time to know that in a matter of weeks your life will be transformed into one filled with a great deal of more responsibility. However, I certainly did not need another dose of the anxiousness and excitement added into the already melting pot of life that I was trying to navigate through.
In my opinion, Twitter was nothing more than another social platform for people to expose their most intimate feelings to complete strangers. For that reason, I chose not to make one. Yet, despite not having an account of my own, I always found myself immersed in a conversation about the crazy trending topics and Twitter chats that took place within the online community of thoughts.
But no matter how many conversations, I joined in on I came to the realization that I was an outsider. An outsider finding herself more intrigued with the world of a social media platform that I ignored for so long. This is when I realized that I no longer wanted to be the girl that could not share a Twitter name when networking with professionals and peers or the girl who understood Twitter, but did not have a page to validate my knowledge. So with that sentiment in mind, I created an account.
Woo. That was a lot, right? All that to pat myself on the back and say that I finally joined the world of 140 characters. I was the newest member on Twitter and I damn sure was proud of it. I found myself promoting articles, finding like-minded people and those with different views, tweeting, retweeting, sharing, DM’ing, networking, participating in chats and so much more! The possibilities were and still are endless.
The world of Twitter expanded even more when I came across the flyer for a chat with Nia (@GlamSavvy) of The GlamSavvy Life and Neosha (@NeoshaLatrice) of CreateHER Stock. I have had the fortunate opportunity to collaborate and/or speak with these two women and there was no way that I was going to miss out on theirdiscussion! So with my laptop charged and hair products sprawled across the floor around me, I prepared to tune in. The things that I experienced during sixty minutes of non-stop conversation was that like no other, but what I can say is that it was a welcoming, thought-provoking, loving and safe environment.
Because of the space that was created, I felt that it was necessary for me to not let the dialogue stop at the end of the last tweet. Instead, I thought it was best for me to share my takeaway points from the conversation surrounding the image of African-American women in today’s society within the popular culture realm.
We Are Aware
What are we aware of exactly? The response to that is simple: we are aware of everything. From the power of strength that we have to endure many obstacles to the images portrayed in the media to the racial injustice taking place across the nation, we have a hand in it. We understand that the stereotypes put out against are not the whole truth and that the script needs to written again. We are aware that we no longer have others tell stories of our journey. Only we know the true feeling and experiences to be a Black woman in America. We are the genuine, authentic answer to change the numerous misconceptions.
We Are The Change
During the chat, it was asked why it was essential for us to take back control of the image in popular control. My response was simply that history is repeating and we cannot sit back. At this point, we as women (and Black Twitter) as whole have not rested on the issues that have been taken place. I love that! We are a making a mark through writing, photography, interviews and so much more! The fact that a group of strangers could ban together to have a conversation was amazing.
We Are Supportive
Pop culture describes us as bickering, angry and defensive women, who cannot do more than fight on national reality television shows. This is far from the truth. One aspect of the media should not define every Black woman in America and this chat was one way to dispel that idea. The environment was like that of one big family with ideas shared and opinions voiced. We recognized that although people expect us to butt heads, the true answer is collaboration. We are such a force to be reckoned with when we work together. At the end of the chat, I saw a ton of conversations taking place and a lot of following. Even today, I saw encouraging dialogue taking place.
Before the chat, I never thought that Twitter could open up a space where I instantly connect to people in an hour. I found myself feeling a greater sense to reach out and connect with the women in the chat. I am sure that the chat will take place again because we all have much more to continue to talk about. The conversation started last week and I am sure that with the amount of happiness at the end, the #CreateHERS chat will only grow. I challenge everyone to reach out to someone new each week on Twitter, join chats and go out to create yours!
For those who have not yet had the opportunity to come across Neosha’s CreateHER Stock venture, I’ll provide you with a brief overview. Neosha saw the lack of resources portraying Black women doing extraordinary things and took the initiative to create a community website geared to providing stock images of these things. Yes, images made by her for us! It is exactly what we needed and the timing could not have been more perfect. Be sure to explore her site and subscribe so that the path of support can continue to get stronger.