Jun 19, 2019
By Sesali Bowen
Both platforms speak to the power of community and the Black experience.
Black Twitter is an equal opportunity conversation. It’s a table with a seat for everyone. Black nerds, Black veterans, Black parents, Black atheists, and Black politicos sit amongst Black conspiracy theorists, Black entrepreneurs, and Black artists. Like any proper cookout, the opinions are loud and strongly held, but for every nay there’s a yay.
As such, Black Twitter doesn’t play judge and jury over Black culture, it documents what exists and underscores the things that matter to the Black community the most. So it should come as no surprise that on BET’s biggest night of the year—the BET Awards—Black Twitter comes alive to tell our story in a way that only we can. The two platforms are bedfellows, but there’s nothing strange about that.
In some ways, BET was Black Twitter before there was ever a bird-inspired website for people to join. From music and politics to art and lifestyle, the network has been aggregating the stories and history of people all over the Black diaspora over the course of its 40-year history. BET has built the trust of Black folks as a hub for mainstream Black culture by doing its best to let Black people spit their own truth—fighting against a tide of erasure, vilification, tokenization, and caricaturization at other media outlets.
"The two platforms are bedfellows, but there’s nothing strange about that."