Basic Black Live: Recipes for Racism - A Lesson in Black History via Twitter


A production of  

June 21, 2013

This week "Black Twitter" erupted after the news of Food Network chef Paula Deen admitted to routinely using the n-word ("Yes, of course…" replied Deen when asked) and dreamt of creating a slave-themed wedding party.  What takes this out of the realm of private conversations between friends is that the  admissions came during a deposition in which Deen and her brother are being sued for racial discrimination and sexual harassment. It's also ironic that this episode occurred on Juneteenth.  Within hours, #paulasbestdishes was the leading trend on Twitter.  At first glance, it looked like an any other active Twitter feed.  But a longer look leads to deeper questions including:

- What would this story have looked like 10 years ago, before the advent of social media?
- Because the response to Paula Deen's acknowledgement rose out of social media, does that make the response less serious?  Especially since were talking about the n-word...
- Is social media best suited to cultural themes, or can it be pushed into creating real-time action (and what could this mean for New England's communities of color?)
- In order for any of the tweets to have impact beyond humor, the reader has to have some sort of knowledge or connection to history, otherwise, "Nat Turnip Greens" has no meaning for you…