Published on November 25, 2022.
By: Edden Yohanes
For the past several years, people of colour (POC) creators on social media have noticed favor towards white creators and users on TikTok, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. The algorithms of these platforms are said to be neutral and equal opportunity spaces. Yet when Indigenous creators or BLM protesters post and engage on these platforms, they find that popular tags and posts signaling their activism are flagged and removed.
After carefully reviewing which posts are removed and how quickly and frequently they are removed, many creators, especially POC creators, have concluded that these algorithms are written to discard posts containing controversial or upsetting topics. Especially topics that pertain to serious social issues like anti-racism and racially motivated murder.
These algorithms act as oppressive devices, censoring the speech of POC creators. It has been and continues to be difficult for Black creators to gain and sustain an audience due to TikTok censoring pro-Black terms in their tags and videos and YouTube suppressing the videos of LGBTQAI2S+ and Black creators.
As algorithms work against POC creators, there are ways you can ensure your front page is filled with creators from the same community you identify with that will address topics that are important to you. Black women and non-bianary people, this one’s for you.
If you are looking for a friendly community that is relatable and informs people online, look no further than to these six creators:
Kimberly Foster is the Founder of For Harriet, a multi-platform online community made for Black feminists to discuss the experiences of Black women. In 2010, Foster began her journey with the blog while studying at Harvard. In 2014, as YouTube became a viable platform for gaining an audience and earning an income, Foster started her own channel and began to create innovative content.
Foster has become an essential voice online among creators. She has made the Forbes Magazine’s 30 under 30 list in 2016, and became a member of the new #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund Creator Class in 2021.
Foster has uploaded over 300 videos on her main channel. This channel and her more personal channel Kimberly Nicole Foster have garnered over 18 million combined views. Her main channel hosts more academic and social justice topics, which contrast nicely against the lighter pop culture and reality TV content on her second channel.
In 2020, Khadija Mbowe rose to fame as a multi-hyphenated entertainer and educator on the commentary and media side of YouTube. Mbowe is a non-binary writer, actor, and Opera singer based in Toronto, Ontario, with roots in the Us and the Republic of Gambia.
Mbowe, who describes themselves as a “cool, fun millennial aunty” has amassed over 19 million views on their channel. On their channel, they have discussed topics such as featurist and colourist standards of beauty, toxic masculinity, racist stereotypes, and other relevant topics while providing intelligent commentary and citing their sources.
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Tee Noir is another channel that found success on YouTube in 2020. Tee found her niche in the algorithm by providing intellectual commentary on Black culture topics in television, movies, music, and social media.
She has evolved since the early days of her channel, especially when she came out as queer, which has allowed her commentary to become even more personal and refined. In many ways, Tee’s channel is a diary of her thoughts and opinions, yet she never fails to cite her sources on topics she discusses, which makes her one of the more reliable channels on the platform. You will often feel like you are chatting with a very eloquent friend, a friend who has gained over 21 million views since joining the platform in 2017.
Kat Blaque is the oldest channel on this list. She has been educating audiences on YouTube since 2005. Although she is a professionally trained illustrator and animator, Blaque has found her place as a storyteller and educator. She started her current channel in 2010 and has managed to collect over 23 million views through her fun, casual, and honest discussions.
Blaque uses her skills by speaking at panels, events, and colleges in the US and addresses topics of Blackness, gender, sexuality, and other uncomfortable topics like sexual assult and grooming. She also uses her experiences as a straight, trans, polyamorous and kinky person to explain how unreceptive the world is to a marginalized person like herself. Her videos are about “how we can relate to each other more and fight against the things that divide us, while not losing sight of our own boundaries.”
Paris Milan sets herself apart by reporting pressing topics in the Black community, which mainstream news channels fail to do. Milan shares her investigative research and unfiltered opinions with her fanbase, the Milanos.
She is incredibly active on her channel and will upload videos on the most recent viral news in the Black community within hours of it being released. Milan is dedicated to informing Black women on the violence and harassment Black women face daily, not only from traditional Western societies, but also from within the Black community itself.
Milan understands that her opinions might be harsh or controversial, but she has found that “growth can only come from the raw, icy, truth.” This is undoubtedly true because her channel has accrued over 69 million views from the nearly 300 videos she has created since 2017.
Although a lot of the issues Black women face might feel inescapable, it is easy to find a community to comfort those anxieties and find solutions against racism.
Edden Yohanes is the Copy Editor at Black Voice. She is a recent publishing graduate from the Centennial College Book and Magazine Program, where she learned the fundamentals of editing, fact checking and proofreading. Although she mainly works as an editor, she is passionate about all aspects of publishing—from the Word doc to the printer! She has a special interest in Ethics and Human Rights, and she has a vested commitment to reforming Anti-Black racism in Ontario as a proud Black Woman. You can find what Edden is working on at any time at www.eddenyohanesportfolio.ca