Black Twitter: A People’s History movie review (2024)

With “Black Twitter: A People’s History,” Penny assembles numerous journalists, scholars, comedians, and internet personalities, including W. Kamau Bell, Amanda Seales, Jemele Hill, Roxane Gay, Sam Jay, Brad Jenkins, Alicia Garza, and April Reign. Given the celebration of inclusivity, its aura is disappointingly exclusive as most of the subjects’ opinions are high-profile people with blue checks. Each panelist’s profile appears to bear that verification symbol at the end of their name; while today it carries little weight, it’d be preferable to consult other influential users with less problematic backgrounds than, say, the always controversial Amanda Searles

It’s uncomfortable that people like Searles and Kristy Tillman get the spotlight to cover misogynoir when they were publicly slammed for defending terrible men as recently as last weekend, when Tillman defended journalist DJ Vlad, who called for a Black Princeton professor’s job. Why are these the people who get to have these discussions and not people outside of the casting director’s bizarre definition of Black Twitter royalty? 

If the viewer is a young Black kid who didn’t know of Twitter until its current X-era, the doc functions as a surface-level crash course. But the movement deserves more than a superficial appreciation. For anyone who was there, it feels ultimately thankless due to our shared experiences down paths we don’t necessarily want to reminisce on. And it breezes through topics ripe for deeper conversation. 

Whole series screened for review. On Hulu now.