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race journal two

joni sky's picture

i've been on twitter for a long time. i've gone through a lot of phases. i wrote poetry about boys who kissed me in beach houses and the backs of cars. i preached feminism 101 when those boys didn't text me back. i learned that the feminism white women promoted didn't work for me and that demanding cunnilingus wasn't going to save me (or anybody). i made valuable connections with other black teens who were thinking about the stuff i was. twitter is where i first became publicly political; it handed me feminism and helped me to learn it, engage in conversation about it, and develop my own ideas about what it was and what it should be. 


i don't tweet about my politics anymore, or my feelings. i don't get vulnerable in the way i used to. everything feels more transactional than it once did. still, every week teen girls tell me that they look up to me. on fridays, white women recommend me in a list of black women who are must follows #ff they've learned so much from me! white pro black sex worker positive intersectional feminists, so woke and so bae, they put it in their bios so it can't be debated. there's something so disconcerting about being included in listicles about badass women, about being an example and a learning experience. white women who didn't have room for me in their feminism erase my blackness so that i can fit into their feminism that i rejected because it rejected me, then they emphasize my blackness and project onto my blackness in displays of conspicuous compassion. my knowlege and experience are manipulated to fit whatever white women need them to be. 

i value my real life time and sanity enough that i avoid online arguments but sometimes i am tempted to go off on the people in my mentions.

i'm not an example, i'm a real girl. i'm a different girl than you


some other thoughts on race and media:

  • blac chyna and amber rose building their brands using the same methods as the kardashians
  • sometimes i am sent fan art where my hair curls tighter and my nose is wider. do the people who draw me see my face? do they know black people look different from each other? that we are diverse in appearance and experience? they don't seem to 
  • interacting with news media via social media 
  • the meme of black newscasters reacting to racism 
  • race discourse that develops on social media and is made popular and accessable on social media