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(The Root) — Did you know that black people have joined the ranks of those using Twitter, the popular microblogging social media website? Twitter has been around for years, but recent press interest in "black Twitter," as it is called, must mean that black folks are a bit tardy to the party.

A "black Twitter" Google search shows that black Twitter clearly began with Scandal (scientifically proved to be every black person's favorite TV show), #PaulaDeensBestDishes and @MoreAndAgain's takedown of juror B37's book deal. But there are rumors that black people have been using Twitter for months. Some even date black involvement with the site back to 2006, the year of its inception. The Chatterati, The Root's tool that tracks the popular goings-on of black Twitter, was launched in the spring of this year, so we at least know it's been a thing since then.


Now media outlets like CNN and BuzzFeed are reporting on black Twitter, making it an officially existing thing. But why is it a thing? What makes black folks tweet?

No one can say for sure. Some posit that blacks are attracted to Twitter for the same reasons that others are — that they, like all other Twitter users, have an insatiable urge to post pictures of their meals and share inane details about themselves that people likely don't care about. But there must be more to it. Something scientific — nay, something magical about the Negro and his tweeting activities. CNN will likely try to find out what that something is in a one-hour "Black Twitter In America" special hosted by Soledad O'Brien.

Another question to ask is, why Twitter? Why isn't there a black Facebook or LinkedIn? Was there a black MySpace? A black Friendster? Maybe. Some speculate that blacks patronized those sites as well, although popular theory suggests that blacks migrated to Twitter directly from


Whatever the case, happy birthday, black Twitter. Started from the bottom — now you're here because the mainstream notices you.

Tracy Clayton is a writer, humorist and blogger from Louisville, Ky.