Black Is Truly King: When Will America Realize It?


What the hell is an NFT, could probably sum up my feelings for the first half of 2021, a year that was supposed to be vastly better than what we all went through in 2020. How could a year where we saw a pandemic stop the world, lose such greats such as Kobe Bryant & Chadwick Baldwin, and watched as Black and Brown bodies continued to be subjected to police brutality, be topped with an even more chaotic news cycle and events? I don’t think anyone knows the why or how no matter how many mercury retrogrades they blame for such disastrous times. As we all thought of ways to entertain ourselves in lockdown, gain inspiration to actually work from home, and overall creative ways to actually get out of bed, there were cultural hot topics that dominated our social media timelines and the news cycle this last year and a half.



Clubhouse


Initially launched in April 2020, the social audio app caused a commotion between iPhone users and Android users, with the former being able to access the popular app. Clubhouse did not just ignite a tech war between the phone carriers but also adapted to a system as American as apple pie - an invite-only “elite” system that only allowed new users to join the app if they were well connected and could score an invite from someone already on the app. Rooms were set up to host panels with experts, and other rooms were set up to talk about the panels that hosted those experts. Some users sold their invites and others felt validated with a sense of community with whatever topic was at hand.


The Black community created shows reimagined popular musicals and performed live over the app for listeners to enjoy. Other users were in awe of being able to speak to their favorite celebrities at any given time. It wasn’t long before Black users realized that perhaps they were giving too much of their content and ideas away for their non-Black counterparts to benefit from. The ruckus that Clubhouse once caused has relaxed a bit, well over a year since launching. Now, Clubhouse is available to Android users, and invites are no longer a thing. Recently it was reported that the app that once beat Instagram, and Tiktok in weekly downloads, only saw 484,000 downloads during the middle of July. Pitching your startup in a room filled with strangers may be a thing of the past, as the jury is still out on the longevity of the app that once brought us all together.