Hulu's 'Black Twitter: A People's History' documents important community space, Prentice Penny says

ByMarsha Jordan and Hosea Sanders WLS logo
Monday, May 13, 2024
Hulu's 'Black Twitter' series documents important community space
"Black Twitter: A People's History" on Hulu documents a vital, influential community space on the platform now called X, director Prentice Penny said.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- While the platform is now called X, for so many users Black Twitter is a social media movement more powerful than just a brand or title. It's also the subject of a new Hulu docuseries, "Black Twitter: A People's History."

Director Prentice Penny said the phenomenon has given voice and a strong forum for expression to his community. While many may envision Black Twitter as a destination, like a tab you can click on, it's not quite that.

ABC7 Chicago is now streaming 24/7. Click here to watch

"It is and was a space on the platform where different Black communities gather to have fun and be super serious about things," Penny explained. "Where we get to drive, not just what we want to talk about but what should be national and world conversations."

Black Twitter started as a lighthearted space, but naturally transitioned into something more urgent.

"It was fun, cracking jokes about Thanksgiving or Paula Deen's best dishes, or 'Scandal,' and things like that. But things started getting serious with Black Lives Matter, and 'if they gunned me down in Ferguson.' It really forced mainstream America to have the conversations that we, on Black Twitter, were having in real life in Black Homes, and having on the platform," Penny said.

The space became essential to the culture. When things happened culturally, big things, many found themselves saying, 'I can't wait to see what Black Twitter does with that.'

"It's serious, it's educational, it's funny, it's informative, and it's doing all those things. And I think that's why when Will Smith and those incidents come up, we know we're gonna get a lot of different kinds of information and viewpoints that aren't our own," he said.

There are also many important movements that have been highlighted by or even started on Black Twitter, like Black Girl Magic, Black Lives Matter and Oscars So White.

"My children are sixteen and fourteen, they're Tiktok kids, and they've never been on the platform, but they say Black Lives Matter, they say Black Girl Magic, Black Boy Joy, but they didn't know where it was coming from," said Penny. "So it's important even for this next generation, we're just talking 15 years, to understand where all of this history started from."

"Black Twitter: A People's History" is available to stream on Hulu now.