Are White people using Black emojis and GIFS as a form of Digital Blackface?
The better question is probably; are White people using Black emojis at all? Sure we have seen the usage of gifs that contain Black people. But writer Victoria Princewell from BBC claims that White people are deliberately using gifs with Black people to appear more sassy or aggressive in their comment reactions. Whenever White people use gifs of famous entertainers that happen to be Black, it is the 21st century equivalent of minstrel shows AKA Digital Blackface.
Cultural appropriation and tokenism is most definitely a thing. Especially when analyzing the appropriation of AAVE(African American Vernacular English) or Ebonics. The “Cash me outside” girl that has found huge financial success imitating the linguistics of Black Urban America. Phrases like Yass. It’s Lit. Finna. On Fleek. Fasho. And we can’t forget when Snapchat featured a stereotypical 4/20 filter of Bob Marley
However, BBC’s Digital Blackface is a shot in the dark to coin a new buzzword. One they can monetize for shock. Black entertainers find no issue seeing everyone references their performances in GIFS everywhere.