Category: Miniseries

Part 4: “Anything You Can Do, I Can Write Better”

The written word will always have power. No matter if it is in pen and paper, light in screen, or pencil etchings, and a notebook. As long as human beings have the power to record their own narratives, there will always be two sides to every story!

for the cars, it is essential that we understand just how important gatekeeping of language is, that language will still always invite intimacy, and it is important for minority people to have their story told as well.

it is for the want to control the narrative that Christ was made white, right?

as long as I as a writer, who identifies as black and female, have the resources at the ready to tell my story? I am going to tell it! I’m going to tell it because it needs to be told. There is an intimacy that goes along with this black, female experience that can only be reconciled, and understood by other Black people, and especially other black women. My language lends itself to, and towards that intimacy and experience!

If you take my words for me, you are actively engaging in my erasure! just because you can use a word that is used by people in a community that you are ingratiate it in, that you grew up around, does not mean you have the freedom to use that language, those words in a contacts reserve just for the people in that community and experience!

It’s deeper than, “You can’t say that.“

You can’t say that because you haven’t lived that.


Part 3: “You Can’t Get Like Me”

“Language invites permission.” -JBH

My best friend is Sicilian. There are words she and her family says that I can’t. It is the for the respect of her, her experiences, but I don’t repeat those words.

They are not mine to say.

Most communities have trauma-inducing words: some language has a history of harm. Because language involves intimacy, acknowledgment, and intelligence, it is essential that we understand that they are just some words you don’t say. Or if you do say them, you have to deactivate the trauma, they may be within them.

Then the greater question becomes: who owns language? While there is no easy answer to this, there is a resolution to it.

The resolution to this is found in respect. The person who is speaking, who has the experience to convey their thought, and share their intimacy, through conversation. They are the ones who own the language of that space.

if you were not the person in the space, by which the language, the idea, or experience is geared toward or taken from, you are not essential to the conversation – you are a participant and an active listener in the conversation.

Part 2- “Why I Say That…”

Language will always yield intimacy and influence.

There is and must be a level of recognition that goes along with language. This goes deeper than why you can’t say that.

What is often not seen or noticed in these discourses is how essential these two things are: experience and context.

In this digital age, so much is lost but the most crucial is intimacy. It is this knowledge which determines the effect of language in situations and people.

You can’t say what I say because you don’t have experience and context. I believe that this is a reason why language is often referred to in a feminine context–things with feminine attributes are capable of growth or change.

Toni Morrison said that language is the measure of our lives. Perhaps this is so because it provides links to past, context to present and perspective to future.

Part 1: “You Can’t Say That!”

I am a believer there is a gatekeeping to language.

That gatekeeping is powered by experience and by preference. This is why saying one word in the company of people you know, and people you don’t know will have different results.

This is why nicknames for certain people only apply to certain intimate circles, will get you fought outside of them.

Gatekeeping of language is a tightrope for writers, but it is a necessary one! It is how we convey thoughts, reconcile written conflict, and make our experiences visible!

When I as a writer whom has the intersecting identities of Black, woman, and writer say, “you can’t say that” I am saying you–whom may not be Black, woman or writer–do not have the authority or lived experience to comment on what I know to be true of my own life.

You can’t say that corresponds to three things:

1.) Violation of boundary. If I asked you not to say something, and you do–that’s a violation.

2.) Ignorance of meaning. You really have no idea what you said and why it’s problematic.

3.) Implied intimacy. There are certain words that are only applicable if you are born into a culture, not just immersed in it.

One of the secret jobs of a writer is to preserve language, which allows a portion of culture to continue. Some things, just aren’t for you. And never will be.

Miniseries Overview: “You Can’t Say That!”

Reference The Writers’ Block Podcast Episode 95, published on February 23, 2023.

As one who happily identifies as a Black writer, language is both color, tool and canvas. There are certain things I as a Black writer will say, do, and use which go along with that experience. Moreover, people whom are non-Black will not get away with those same vehicles.

For this second miniseries of this year, I am going to break down what this phrase means, and why (in certain instances), this a farce.

Part 1: March 4

“You Can’t Say That”

Part 2: March 11

“Why I Say That”

Part 3: March 18

“You Can’t Get Like Me”

Part 4: March 25

“Anything You Can Do, I Can Write Better”

Language is power, and power is language.

Here we go.

SOCIAL MEDIA LYNCHING (Part 4): “You Can’t Rid Of Me, B!T@#!”

Abbreviations: CC (content creators)

As of this posting, I have 169,300+ followers on my main account.

And about 2000 between 3 backup accounts. I am on this app out of spite at this point.

Pure. Spite.

As I spoke about before, Black CC’s whom speak out about social justice, or any type of -ism (especially racism or sexism!) you will find out how racist the algorithm is! And once you have discovered that red pill-powered reality, had an account mass-reported, you realize how crucial a backup page is.

For that cause, I decided to stay right where I am. It’s a protest of sorts, I suppose! James Baldwin said that Black people need witnesses in the world that thinks everything (and everyone) is White.

I’m an AUNTIE in these streets now!

I can’t leave the nieces and nephews just out here! Nall! Only Jesus has followers–I have family (adopted brothers, sisters, LOADS of cousins, nephews & nieces) and Jayebirds.


Get put out?

Nall. Y’all leave first,

SOCIAL MEDIA LYNCHING (Part 3): “Can You See Me?”

The TikTok app is known to be racist. It is proven to be that, and what the app cannot erase, suppress, or block–it will ban. The cool kids call this shadowbanning.

Social Media Lynching includes suppression of content, shadow-banning (where you cannot interact with content and yours may not be visible), to frequent bans (being unable to post on your account).

Shadowbanning includes content suppression and often runs ahead of frequent bans! There are videos that are made which will ask those that are watching to interact–literally asking, “Can you see me?”

Erasure is not uncommon to Black people, it’s a step-parent of racism! Yet, it is still obnoxious. The function of racism is to hinder, control, stifle and kill. With this being the lifesblood of racism, and people whom alert to it must be identified…enter shadowbanning.

This is practice of erasing Black people is not new. This is just the most visible (and vicious) form of erasure! The superpower of TikTok is how immediate interactions are! How quickly networks are built, and experiences validated.

As a Black person, as a Black woman, visibility, validation and empathy are crucial! Having my experience believed, strengthens me to continue to share experiences in a way which will fight racism.

Rather than the algorithm cosigning truth from non-White people, it shuns us! Bad Negroes must be dealt with accordingly.

But we’re making this all up, right?

SOCIAL MEDIA LYNCHING (Part 1): This Is Really Happening

My best friend told me getting on TikTok would be a good idea. Why, you ask? “You have so much to say!”

And I do.

Yet when I joined TikTok in September-October 2020 (at the first wave of COVID-19), right before the 2020 Presidential Election, I found my niche in social justice (Social Justice Tok), and there I remain 4 accounts later.

Reported videos begat bans, begat trolls, begat mass reporting and that pulling down of a platform I built within a year.

It took my breath away when I logged in my account and it was…gone! I felt like my voice had been ripped from me.

It felt like a digital launching.

From that realization, and being the student of history, I came up with the phrase social media lynching. I define it as:

(c) September 2021, JBHarris

The practice of suppressing the content/voices of minority people (especially African-American people) who actively use their voices or position to fight racism, discrimination, erasure, on a social platform only to be banned (silenced) or have their content suppressed, accounts taken or platform sanctioned.

I wasn’t shocked. I was not mad. I got real focused and made a backup plan. And backup pages.

I looked for a pattern to my banned videos and the patterns to bans to other accounts I followed. I saw these 4 things:

1.) Problematic comments filled with whatever a la carte -phobia or -ism.

2.) You check the comment; arguments ensure in the comments.

3.) These comments persist for days and someone reports the video or comment–or both.

4.) All other like videos are flagged (reported).

If you make enough noise, you get this on your account:

Then, you’re a cool kid.