The Anthropology of Black Twitter: History and Culture

All the old folks who say that black people just aren’t united these days have clearly never been on Black Twitter. This realm of the internet is home to cultural phenomenons, protests, and social movements that has turned it into one of the platforms for black culture today. But it’s not their fault; the black community boasts a lot more diversity these days which is often mistaken for a lack of unity. The catalysts for unification and cultural definitions are much different than they were for our predecessors, but Black Twitter may be the best way to analyze the modern day culture and find out where the real strength and unity lies.

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Pelo Crudo

I stepped out of my room having just wet and prepped my hair to be straightened.

“I’m ready!” I said, excited to be getting my hair done after weeks of searching for a hairdresser.

I ran into the kitchen of my host family’s apartment which would serve as today’s salon, where my host mother, Ania, and my hairdresser Elena, a family friend, waited. Elena took one look at my hair and her jaw dropped, her eyes widened so exaggeratedly I thought they would shoot out of her eye sockets. She looked at Ania who gave her a sharp “I told you so” look.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, standing there confused with water and leave-in conditioner running down my neck and through my shirt.

Que Pelo tienes!” Elena said. “You didn’t tell me you had that much hair!”

“Was I supposed to?” I said.

I was perplexed. My afro is fairly large and ferocious on a good day, but it had never intimidated a professional hair dresser before. I didn’t know whether to take pride in this new-found afro power or to be concerned for what was to come.

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