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Digital Blackface: The Imaginary Phenomenon


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.

  • I have seen it I didnt understand why when I saw it lol

  • Its Gif as in Giraffe lol

  • Omni

    you already ❄️

  • Swavey

    It’s Gif pronounced as Jif, the creator of GIFs has already came out and said it’s pronounced Jif.

  • Swavey

    Here’s a half whit half asian using black emojis lol https://twitter.com/accessforbidden/status/900691437246984192

  • AfroGundam

    I’m sorry I didn’t realize I got niggas Christmas jifts.

  • Miss Mary Jane

    I don’t know wtf that woman was talking about lol. Anyway, jif sounds better to me.

  • hiianaya

    The only person I have seen use black emojis is Kylie Jenner.

  • Mista Makaveli #NeverBodied

    My thing is, when a populace that is inherently anti-black (white people) utilizes black reaction gifs I’m not with it. I can see where the juxtaposition with blackface comes from because it is utilizing the black stereotypes conveyed in these gifs.

    • Balthazar Cathal

      You described exactly how I feel about the matter. Luckily, I don’t see too many white people using black emojis or gifs on a regular basis — but nevertheless, I can see and understand the juxtaposition when it does happen.

  • baby drinking pop

    its plantain like mountain not plantin

  • Isabella Morgan Gadapee

    I can for sure affirm that white people use black emojis all the time to seem more edgy or whatever.

  • Joanie Boucher

    Well, that ended abruptly. Any sourcing at all would be helpful, or fleshing this op piece out as something more than a loosely assembled intro to an article that needs to be fully written.

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