#BlackTwitter’s Major Moments of 2014

Never to be underestimated or duplicated, #blacktwitter brought many entertaining and politically charged conversations to social media in 2014. From the public’s reaction to Pharrell calling himself the “new black” to the support of peaceful protests for Michael Brown and Eric Garner, the comments from this powerful online community were nothing short of amazing.

What is Black Twitter, you ask? Salon’s Feminista Jones defines it as “a collective of active, primarily African-American Twitter users who have created a virtual community that participates in continuous real-time conversations.” Whether it’s a major moment in entertainment, pop culture, or sociopolitical issues, if it happened, Black Twitter had something to say about it.

This collective community of users has no filter, and if you’re easily offended, consider yourself warned. With 2014 in our rearview, here are some of the biggest conversations that happened on Black Twitter last year. 2015 better bring it.

#NewBlack

The “new black” idea was conceived and expressed by Pharrell during his interview with Oprah in April. “The new black doesn’t blame other races for our issues. The new black dreams and realizes that it’s not a pigmentation, it’s a mentality,” he explained. “It’s either going to work for you or it’s going to work against you and you’ve got to pick which side you’re gonna be on.” His comments left Twitter fuming:

#ImSorryImNotIdrisElba

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]

After hearing his wife rant about wanting Idris Elba, Instagram user @Nova_Isig wrote complaining about the (attractive and talented) actor. The poem later went viral, with people making fun on a man sounding so hurt and intimidated by the actor. Elba eventually responded himself.

 

 

Life is hard when you have to compete with someone who looks like he just stepped out of a Bond film.

#SNL

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The addition of Sasheer Zamata to the cast of Saturday Night Live (the first black female comedian in five years) was a great way to kick off the year in Black Twitter, as many tuned in to catch her first live show in January:

#DangerousBlackKids

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Jamie Nesbitt Golden kicked off #DangerousBlackKids, response to a society that often sees unarmed black kids as a threat, after the Michael Dunn verdict, in which Dunn, 47, was found guilty of murdering of 17-year-old Jordan Davis over loud music coming from Davis’ vehicle.

#BenzinoShot 

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In March, the Love & Hip Hop Atlanta star was shot by his nephew while attending his mother’s funeral. But the biggest WTF moment was when he later posted selfies in the hospital with friend and co-star Stevie J. Who would want to take a selfie in the hospital?

#DonaldSterling

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If you still don’t know who Donald Sterling is, then you were living under a rock in 2014. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling, who was the previous owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, for life after TMZ released a recording of Sterling’s racist rant to his then-girlfriend, V. Stiviano. He received a lot of backlash from celebrities and players. The tape itself is cringeworthy, which added fuel to Twitter’s fire:

 

 

 

#BringBackOurGirls

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In April, extremist Muslim group Boko Haram kidnapped over 270 schoolgirls in northern Nigeria. #BringBackOurGirls was first used on social media by Ibrahim M. Abdullahi to spread awareness for the tragedy, and help aid in the return of those kidnapped. The hashtag brought an outcry of support for finding these women including First Lady Michelle Obama. Even though roughly 50 escaped, 276 are still missing according to the CBC.

#WhatJayZSaidToSolange

[Photo Credit: Splash News]

TMZ released elevator footage of Solange swinging and kicking at Jay Z in an elevator the night of the Met Gala after party. No one knows what was said or why Solange got hostile with her brother-in-law, but that didn’t stop people from coming up with their own conclusions:

 

#JeremyMeeks

[Photo credit: Getty Images]

Jeremy Meeks is a convicted felon whose mugshot went viral in June after the Stockton, Calif. police posted it on their Facebook page. It inspired the hashtag #FelonCrushFriday, where pictures of felons Twitter users considered attractive were shared. (The hype around his photo also led to reports that Meeks landed a modeling contract, which was eventually proven to be false.) This man was never dreamy to us, but many others seemed to think so:

#JustinBieberRacist

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An old video of a 14-year-old Bieber making racist jokes found their way online in 2014. Following his first apology, more footage of the Canadian singer joking about racial slurs made its way to the public. Beliebers found every way they could to defend the star, but others weren’t convinced, considering this yet another reason to dislike him:

 

 

#KekePalmer

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The actress received backlash for her comments on Ferguson and Michael Brown that she now describes as being naïve. Still, Black Twitter let Palmer have it when she showed up to the Ferguson protests in a skirt and heels:

#EricaMena, #BowWow

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When the Love & Hip Hop star and 106 & Park host Shad Moss (previously known as Bow Wow) announced their engagement, the world couldn’t stop talking. Mena was in a public relationship with Cyn Santana just a few months prior, which fueled these hilarious reactions and skepticism from social media. Chill zone is nowhere to be found:

#NotDemBells

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]

Lifetime decided to air The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story based on the book by star Dustin Diamond. Diehard SBTB fans weren’t impressed by the film, and much of the cast publicly dissed Diamond’s version of the story. Black Twitter wasn’t a fan either, thus sparking the hashtag #NotDemBells. Oh and someone did find Eric the extra:

 #RavenSymone

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During her interview on Oprah: Where Are They Now?, the actress discussed how she doesn’t like labels, eventually saying she didn’t see herself as African-American. Black Twitter smelled Pharrell’s “new black” theory seeping in again and didn’t like it one bit:

#AaliyahMovie

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Lifetime aired an unauthorized story of Aaliyah’s life (Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B) based off of Christopher Farley’s book Aaliyah More Than a Woman. Along with upsetting her family, producers did not having the rights to her music, leaving fans feeling empty, offended, and confused by the film. Timbaland, longtime producer and friend of the singer, went in on the movie and the executive producer Wendy Williams, while the questionable casting sparked epic Lifetime movie memes:

See a clip from Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B, below.

#SolangeWedding

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Not to be overshadowed by her older sister (or that elevator), Solange married boyfriend Alan Ferguson in New Orleans in November. The stylish ceremony and fly wedding pictures gave everyone reason to swoon:

 

#BlackLivesMatter, #HandsUpDontShoot, #ICantBreathe

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]

2014 brought race relations in the U.S. to the forefront after numerous tragic cases of police brutality. When the officers responsible for the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in Staten Island were not indicted, outrage ensued. The latter prompted the hashtag #ICantBreathe in reference to Garner’s final words. Everyone from actors to professional athletes have been wearing t-shirts with the quote, as support for these injustices has gone global.

 

 

#ElizabethLauten

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The former GOP staffer publicly criticized President Obama’s teenage daughters on her Facebook page. (As the Communications Director for Rep. Stephen Fincher of Tennessee, you’d think she would’ve known better.) Black Twitter moved very quickly, ultimately leading to Lauten’s resignation. We know what time it is:

 

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]

I write. I host. I pop culture. I also have a healthy obsession for The Golden Girls. Love my Girls.