Black Twitter has become an unstoppable force on the fast moving social network, setting trends and launching itself into the national conversation by way of a visible stream of thought. A Ph.D. candidate has decided to make Black Twitter the focus of her dissertation, revealing some of the inner workings of that select group of Twitter users.

Meredith Clark, who attends the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, sat with NPR and WBUR show Here & Now to discuss the Black Twitter phenomenon in detail. Although the host naturally flocked to the humorous aims that Black Twitter has become infamous for, Clark directed the conversation to note there are serious discussions also being sparked in that world as well.

An excerpt from the Here & Now transcript:

MEREDITH CLARK: Basically, black people using Twitter. It’s very simple. You’re just being a part of a private conversation that’s held in public.

YOUNG: Baratunde Thurston, well-known author, says that it’s new but it’s really a new take on a very old tradition. The Dozens?

CLARK: That’s part of it, and that’s one of the parts that, I think, a lot of people are paying attention to, right? The humor definitely draws other people in.

Exploring some of the most popular hashtags spawned by Black Twitter, Clark explains how the trending topics “#racismendedwhen” and “#solidarityisforwhitewomen,” began and exploded within the Twitter universe. Clark also examines the concept of “social viewing” considering TV shows such as Scandal and others benefit heavily from Black Twitter’s live-time involvement.

Listen to Here & Now‘s chat with Meredith Clark, Ph.D. candidate at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and their discussion regarding Black Twitter below.

Photo: Andreas Eldh/Creative Commons/Flickr

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