A new TikTok trend has taken the internet by storm in an honest effort to create a widespread network of Black women creators: the Black girl follow train. Basically, Black women creators make a video saying, “if you’re a Black girl, follow me.” Once white women realized they were being left out of the trend, their outrage nearly got the trend banned.
The original creator, @momtotheking on TikTok, made a simple video stating if you were a Black girl who followed her, came across her page or engaged with her content, she was going to follow you back. Why? Because Black women should embrace their community. She had no idea that just a few weeks after posting this video, hundreds of thousands of Black women were on board with creating a #blackgirlfollowtrain.
Black businesses were being boosted, algorithms were being shifted and rumor has it, the hashtag was one of the top trends on the app. User Juliana Roberts had sales flooding into her Etsy shop as a result of the movement and shared a tearful video thanking her community for the support. She said she had struggled for months prior trying to get her handmade bonnets and scarves on the market.
Finally, Black women were not just out there helping everyone else but themselves and winning.
As you could’ve guessed, white women threw a hissy fit and in came the what-about-all-women feminists. The trend was slammed as a “separation tactic” and criticized for excluding non-Black women. Without even realizing it, their own entitlement was being exposed in every crusty video they posted in attempt to derail our ride.
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User Victoria Alexander made it plain: “White women get to be the center of positive attention on [TikTok] all the time just by virtue of their whiteness, under white supremacy and the beauty standard. Intellectually, many of them understand this but practically, they want to ignore it.”
Historically, Black women had no choice but to carve out their own spaces – even from their own husbands. They met in the hair shop or more significantly, ran their own tea rooms where the wives of the elite met and hosted events they would otherwise be excluded from if the establishment had white owners. Black women would have even been left out of the Women’s Suffrage movement if white women could help it.
Though segregation is now illegal, it doesn’t change the fact that culturally, privilege has allowed white women to take up most of the social space, selfishly. When Black women carve out a piece for themselves, suddenly we’re the ones discriminating? Girl, bye.
If Black women supporting Black women triggers you, seek therapy.