#loudblackgirls are taking over twitter and reclaiming a racist stereotype
Black women on Twitter are flipping the script on a discriminatory hashtag and asserting their right to their own voices and volume.
Erica Garner. Image via Twitter.
On Thursday, Erica Garner, daughter of Eric Garner, recounted her horrific experience at an ABC News town hall taping that discussed race. Garner explains in a video taken after the town hall that not only did ABC lie to her, guaranteeing that she would be able to ask President Obama direct questions, but that they are ultimately "using black lives as a rating and to get paid." So Garner took matters into her own hands, saying, "I had to stage a walk-out by myself." She says it wasn't until she yelled and screamed that she was able to speak to the president. Garner was invited to the town hall, according to her political advisor Reggie Harris, specifically because she is "a major public figure," particularly in the race discussion. Garner says, "It is a shame as black people that we have to scream, yell, and become belligerent to have our voices heard."
When activist Feminista Jones learned of Garner's statements on Friday, she said she revamped the #LoudBlackGirls hashtag in response. Black women all over Twitter joined in, turning a hashtag that has previously been used for stereotyping on its head (most of its previous uses don't bear repeating, as you can probably imagine). The hashtag's newfound significance is instead empowering women of color to defend their voices and their opinions against being interpreted as "loud" or "angry," regardless of their actual volume or tone.
Jones told i-D, "Reading other people's tweets was awesome because so many Black women could relate yet found ways to break free of the limitations. Liberation comes in many forms and being able to be yourself, to be loud and proud, is freeing. I connected most with the women who felt silenced after sexual abuse and domestic violence. I was happy to see so many women say they came out on the other side stronger and even more committed to never being silenced again."
Text Blair Cannon