Social media has become an integral part of our lives, and a new documentary from BlackPlanet examines the platform’s role in helping to create a space for the Black community to maximize its presence online.
Sure, there’s not a day that goes by without us checking Facebook, Twitter, or other social media that we’re tapped into. It’s wild to imagine how it all started back in the late 1990s. BlackPlanet, the social media platform which became a launching pad for so many in the Black community as social media and networking on the Internet began, is now exploring that era in a new documentary.
Titled Black, Connected, and Copied, the film is hosted by the well-regarded historian and Black cultural expert T.L. Cross. It consists of interviews with many notable figures in the world of tech and social media which include Dr. Omar Waslow, BlackPlanet’s co-founder. Other figures interviewed include Markus Robinson, Senior Vice President of Product & Technology at iONE Digital, actress and supermodel Liris Crosse, journalist and author Thembisa Mshaka, and Lisa Gelobter, CEO & co-founder of the tEquitable platform.
The documentary covers the rise of BlackPlanet and how much it took hold in the community way before the various social media companies we know today. “Long before there was a Facebook, long before there was a Twitter, it was the way we connected with each other,” Robinson said. It also details how being able to interact in various ways on the platform was simpler and devoid of having to worry about any missteps. “It was no pressure, you could just be who you wanted to be. Now there’s like, pressure on social media,” observes Chuck Creekmur, CEO of AllHipHop.com in the film.
Black, Connected, and Copied also denotes how BlackPlanet endured through some obstacles to now be in operation as part of Urban One, and details how the Black community online has galvanized their presence online have serious social capital. “There were these Black spaces on every social media platform that I believe really drove the traffic because the community came there, and they became the leaders in producing content,” said Kim Osorio, former editor-in-chief of The Source Magazine.
Black, Connected, and Copied is available to watch on YouTube and see what’s what with BlackPlanet currently right here. Check it out at the link below.