THE PEOPLE'S FOLLOW BUTTON: WHO TO FOLLOW

Much of our public discourse surrounding activism, academia, and the merging of the two takes place on social media these days, particularly Twitter. During the height of protests, rallies, marches, and other actions, the Twitter timeline often turns into the people's newsroom. When award shows and inaugurations are occurring, Twitter becomes an international space for conversations on culture, art, feminism, and everything else under the sun. Livetweeting, livestreaming, and in-the-moment thread-making allows the masses to be connected with the praxes of revolutionary actions and moment-defining thought taking place around the world, like when activists in Palestine post photos and videos of their daily resistance against Israeli Apartheid, or when comrades in Durham, North Carolina showed off beautiful people power as Black, brown, and queer activists took down a confederate monument.

When planning actions many organizers have even began assigning the role of livestreaming and livetweeting to specific people, understanding the need to connect local struggles to the internet, thus connecting them with the larger audiences of the world. Just last month, the internet essentially saved the life of Marcellus Williams, a Missouri Black man who was scheduled to be executed despite DNA evidence showing he did not commit the crime; if so many people on Twitter, headed by a handful of Black and brown activists, did not create an outrage around the case urging folks to call the Missouri governor's office, tweet at the governor, and spread the word rapidly, Marcellus Williams very well may not be alive today. 

Along with Twitter being a platform for activists to share information about their struggles, events and action, it is also a key place for important conversations to be pushed into the realm of accessibility for the masses. At times, the discourse on feminism, intersectionality, and culture is pushed by artists and social critics on Twitter whose work speaks volumes, and educates thousands. Certain users dedicate much of their existence on the platform to having sometimes difficult, sometimes academic, often engaging, and always important conversations on sociological, critical topics. And while certain users dedicate their timeline to being an educational resource, some people's timelines simply turn into crowd favorites naturally, through having unique perspectives, engaging content, and personal dialog. Conversations, debates, and information that was once locked away to the classrooms of higher education are now being grasped and distributed by critical thinkers, artists, and activists across the platform, creating a paradigm shift in socialized, collective knowledge and education. Topics of race, feminism, law, history, social theory, settler colonialism, immigration, sexuality, pre-colonial Africa, and an endless list of other topics that once seemed out of reach for some are being transformed and collectivized by the art of the thread.

And of course, there are limits to this use of Twitter as a primary educational or organizing, source. We first have to remember that people are not resources and do not exist merely for you to gran your news from; we must approach people on Twitter in ways that do not dehumanize or denigrate their being down to meaning nothing more than your consumption. If you learn immensely from a twitter user, especially a Black or brown person who doesn't have to spend their time educating you, it is imperative to consider supporting their work, either through financial support or by simply sharing links to their work. 

We can also understand that much nuance, context, and understanding is often lost within the 140 character limits of a stream of tweets - however, as we continue to cultivate these uses for Twitter, certain people have honed in on the craft and the work they are doing online and offline is badass. There are many who sell collusion, or assimilation, as revolutionary, mixing words like "resistance" with neoliberal positions and policies, and label themselves as the "left" while they really stand in the center. There are those who claim to be about the discourse, whose rhetoric leans towards something resembling critical thought, but only serves the purpose of reinforcing and maintaining the establishment. It can be hard at times to distinguish between those that are for the people and those that are for the establishment, as many are wolves in sheep's wool selling horizontal diversity, mere representation, and shallow/uncritical/unprincipled/lazy analysis as "resistance." 

So, given all of that babble and overview, here is my list of the top activists, academics, organizers, artists, critics, and writers who are making meaningful, principled, influential, critical waves in the world both online and offline. This list is by no means exhaustive nor in any specific order, and even as I type this I am reminded of those I am forgetting, or cannot fit on here, but nonetheless here it is:

 

@theAfroLegalise, DC based organizer

@theAfroLegalise, DC based organizer

  • @theAfroLegalise
    • Lawyer, activist, badass Nigerian woman who organizes with BYP100 in DC.
    • Often pushes critical conversations online centering Black feminist thought on reproductive justice, misogynoir, mass incarceration, and police brutality. 
  • @BlackAutonomist 
    • Black organizer based in New York who works with PSL on anti-imperialist, anti-police brutality, and anti-capitalist actions.
    • Often discusses western imperialism, Marxism, police brutality, racism, capitalism, and antiwar positions online. 
  • @ztsamudzi 
    • Black PhD student, organizer, writer, and self-described 'Lil resistance thug based out of the Bay Area, Zoé devotes much of her time online using her following to promote actions, critical thought on race, gender, and anarchism, while organizing locally for Black and brown lives. 
  • @roqchams 
    • Writer, researcher, Arab Marxist and podcast co-host. 
    • Her writing dissects poverty, prison, gender, organizing, and race, and often takes critical aim at societal structures which perpetuate exploitation in various forms. 
  • @blxbb
    • Student organizer on the west coast. Member of Serve The People LA, an organizations that gives groceries and other needed items to the people of LA every Sunday afternoon.
    • @Blxbb focuses on poverty, Black/queer oppression, and praxis which aims at changing material reality. 
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  • @fatfemme
    • Writer, activist, multidisciplinary artist, and filmmaker whose work focuses on Black sexuality, gender, masculinity, femininity, and bodies. 
    • Through documentary work, art, and social media, @fatfemme pushes conversations surrounding trans people, desirability, body politics, and Blackness among other topics. 
    • @Bocaquilombo 
      • Multidisciplinary artist who works in hip-hop, film, and writing to explore, dissect, and challenge the intersections of Blackness, Latinx identity, and coloniality.
      • Boca's music, film, and writing aims at structures and institutions which perpetuate anti-Blackness in Latin America, while exploring identity and colonial subjugation regularly as well.
    • @bennykoval 
      • Student organizer and activist, co-founder of Palestinians and Jews for Decolonization.
      • Benny's work centers anti-imperialism, the decolonization of Palestine, feminism, and left organizing in the US. 
    • @suprihmbe
      • Self-proclaimed 'thot scholar' whose work involves writing and art that examines the oppression of Black women, sex workers, and artists from a womanist perspective. 
      • She engages her followers through Twitter and written articles in conversations on sex, sex work, gender oppression, and anti-Blackness, critically progressing forward and expanding the dialog of womanism/feminism. 
    • @notthreefifths
      • Activist and community builder focusing on the interesection of Blackness and disability.
      • In the struggle for #DisabilitySolidarity online and in person; his work highlights the compounding impact Disabled people of color experience by incarceration/institutionalization, policing, inaccessibility and public policy.
    • @DecolonialBlack
      • PhD student, editor, and writer in Chicago whose work centers decolonization, particularly examining settler-colonialism, Black-Indigenous political relations, and anti-capitalist thought. 
    • @namirari
      • Activist lawyer, graphic designer, and co-director of the Muslim Anti-Racist Collaborative, an organization that seeks to create faith-based education and racial justice initiatives. 
      • Her work challenges racism, islamophobia, the prison system, and law.
    • @eTheHustla
      • A New York based activist who uses his platform online to advocate for the rights of trans people, especially Black trans people. 
      • His online advocacy includes education around issues affecting trans people, racism, and gender/sexuality, and he also facilitates TLGBTQ groups in the Bronx aimed at creating safe spaces for Black trans people. 
    • @LamontLilly
      • North Carolina organizer and writer who works with Workers World Party
      • His activism is guided by the principles of Pan-Africanist socialism, and his writing includes articles, essays, and poetry, all which aim to examine and uplift the conditions of workers across the globe. 
    • @zellieimani
      • eacher, Writer, and Organizer with Black Liberation Collective, Zellie's work focuses on advocacy and education that deals with Black liberation and student organizing, and he is also one of the minds behind Noir Reads. 
    • @RaquelWillis_
      • Raquel is an organizer with the Transgender Law Center, a writer with the Echoing Ida collective, and an all around badass who spoke about trans rights next to Angel Davis at the National Women's March. 
      • Her work is concerned with alleviating the violence that trans women face, as well as leading thought on race, gender, and intersectionality. 
    • @BLACKDIAMAT
      • A Michigan organizer with Workers World Party who works for Black liberation and international solidarity with all workers through anti-imperialism. 
      • His Twitter page exists as a source of critical conversation on race, oppression, and ideological analyses of events and history, as well as tweets on actions and protests he helps organize. 
    • @RealAlexRubi
      • A DC journalist whose on-the-ground reporting and writing on events such as the Charlotteville protests are unmatched. 
      • Follow him for great, insightful reporting on various events, marches, and rallies, and well as critical dialog on foreign policy, police, prison, and protests. 
    • @Hausmuva 
      • A New York based writer whose work focuses on on exploring culture, particularly from a Black queer perspective, and examining interlocking systems of domination. 
      • His tweets range anywhere from critiques of capitalism to Beyonce stanning to Remy Ma lyrics then back to a thread about dismantling whiteness. 
    • @Jaybeware 
      • A freelance whose work focuses on prison abolition, government corruption, and anti-imperialism, his tweets cover current events and give an abolitionist view of things. 
      • He is the producer of the Beyond Prison podcast.
    • @SankofaBrown 
      • A Black PhD student studying sociology, organizer, and vocal advocate against the dominant ruling establishment. 
      • An organizer with Workers World Party, he often discusses the ways in which white supremacy and capitalism intertwine, how "respectable" and bourgeois Black people maintain violent white supremacist structures, and much more.
    • @PrisonCuture 
      • Prison abolitionist, organizer, educator, and writer, her timeline often focuses on praxis and action for creating material change. 
      • Founder of Project NIA and several other organizations/projects which seek to liberate youth and people of color from the prison-industrial-complex, she is a seasons activist whose tweets often get to the root of problems, and push important conversations on justice and re-imagining what organizing looks like across the platform.
      Walter Rodney, @RodneyProject

      Walter Rodney, @RodneyProject

      • @QueerXiChisme
        • A writer, comedian, and public speaker who uses social media to amplify the struggles, critiques, and important conversations on gender, sexuality, racism, and other topics within the Latinx community. 
        • Through creative articles, graphics, threads, and tweets, his cultural critiques are pricelessly interesting and important. 
      • @libcomorg 
        • Representing libcom.org, a website with a massive [free] archive of leftist literature, the libcom twitter account amplifies critical discussion on left organizing, theory, and international current events. 
      • @williamcson 
        • A freelance writer and editor, he tends to focus on where blackness intersect with justice (or the lack of), organizing, theory, and social commentary on politics. 
      • @thetrudz 
        • A writer, photographer, author, curator, and social critic, her womanist voice and the work she has done carries a deep influence across the internet.
        • The Creator of Gradient Lair, Drift Sojourn, and Cinemacked, follow and support her and her various platforms for wonderful womanist social critique, engaging conversation and writing, and unmatched truth. 
      • @MuseWendi 
        • PhD candidate, historian, and leftist whose global perspective and critical conversations on anti-racism, leftism, and theory or magnificently important.
        • Founder of @LeftPOC, a project that seeks to combat the erasure of leftist people of color by making the history and narratives of leftists of color accessible. 
      • @theOFFICIALmilf 
        • A Florida-based organizer with Workers World Party whose work centers trans, queer, and gender-nonconforming folk. 
        • Their timeline often dives deep into the intersections of Marxism and TLGBTIQA-identities, including threads and sharing resources on various topics. They also help run Strive, an organization dedicated to helping provide housing financial support, and transportation for transgender people. 
      • @RodneyProject 
        • Ran by the family and friends of the late revolutionary Pan-Africanist Walter Rodney, this accounts serves as an amplification tool of the work the Walter Rodney Foundation does, as well as the work of other Pan-African and revolutionary actions taking place around the world. 
        • Their timeline is often filled with quotes, book excerpts, and articles involving Black liberation, Pan-Africanism, and organizing. 
      • @YasminYonis 
        • A Somali-American writer and academic who focuses on the experiences of being a Black Muslim immigrant woman, and where those experiences intersect with her leftist politics. 
        • Follow her for engaging dialog on religion, womanism, and political talk among other topics.