The rise of black TikTok

Jessamyn Dodd

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Although it is often overlooked by mainstream social media fans, black TikTok is powerful. Often black creators and creators of color are pushed aside and not credited, even when they amass hundreds of thousands of followers and views. Aside from the popular dancers, makeup artists, and
singers of color on TikTok, several creators are having a big impact on their fans. So, who are the new creators making a name for themselves in the community?

Aunt Karen @auntkaren0 is a verified creator of the app. She rose to fame by outing racists and bigots on and off of the app. Aunt Karen is not afraid to go toe to toe with white supremacists on TikTok. "My greatest impact on TikTok is opening the eyes of the world to the issues many people choose to ignore or believe just simply aren't there. When Mamie Till-Mobley said 'Let the people see what they did to my boy', no words have impacted me more. We must let the people see so they don't forget".

Patrick Jeanty @kingjeanty1989_: Patrick is an openly bisexual black man who makes no apologies for who he is. Patrick is a DJ, social media personality, and father. With over 300 thousand followers Patrick may be the most controversial of the up-and-coming creators. He has had several online arguments after defending himself against cyber threats and bullying. In fact, one TikTok user’s entire page is filled with hate videos directed at Jeanty. Many of his online trolls do not seem to know how to act when Jeanty responds to the bullying. And to be fair the responses are not always appropriate. Jeanty entertains his fans with DJ sets, cooking, and live streams with his girlfriend Kim.

Anthony Hyland goes by the social media handle @ispeak1906. Hyland is a motivational speaker, businessman, and U.S. Navy service member. When asked about his favorite thing about being a creator with over 1 million followers he states "The impact that we have on generations in both the United States and globally. Having a following from both South Africa and Australia is so humbling and speaks to the worldwide impact that we as content creators possess".

An activist known as @cuban_d_lite is another controversial creator often making videos speaking out against and reacting to other creators. As an Afro-Latina woman, she has faced racism daily on TikTok. A troll group has made countless claims questioning her ethnicity and her activism in the community. Cuban has been featured in documentaries and has a self-published book that is available on Amazon.

@blaamazon has been developing his own app for BIPOC creators to showcase their art, vlogs, and interests without being mass reported and harassed. He enjoys hosting live cooking events. Blaam states that he wants a place where creators feel safe.

@derrickdowneyjr gives motivational speeches and talks about life with his squirrel Richard, who he shares avocados with on his balcony. He offers uplifting sentiments and reflects on life.

@thisiscory teaches his 800 thousand viewers about U.S. and world history and political issues through comedic sketches. He calls himself "the CEO of History".

Source:Tiktok, Aunt Karen, Anthony Hyland, Denise Maupin, Patrick Jeanty

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Jessamyn is a television journalist and photographer.

California State
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