Posted on September 9, 2022

Why Black Twitter Is ‘On Fire’ After Queen Elizabeth II’s Death

Ryan Smith, Newsweek, September 9, 2022

Queen Elizabeth II’s death aged 96 has sparked a flood of tributes and fond words for a beloved monarch who reigned for a record-breaking 70 years before passing away on Thursday.


However, a number of Black Twitter users have taken the opportunity to mark the Queen’s death as something of a moment to celebrate, with a range of memes and explanatory threads filling the timeline.

“Black Twitter is on fire today,” read one viral tweet, which showed an image of a man posing seemingly victoriously beside a grave that had been mocked up as the queen’s.

Showing similar sentiment, another popular tweet showed the words: “We are sad to announce that the queen has died,” alongside a picture of the late Princess Diana laughing, styled to represent Black Twitter’s feelings on the news.

{snip} Many people from former colonies consider her a figurehead for the brutality their people suffered under British imperialism.


“Black Twitter is absolutely Black Twittering right now,” said The Atlantic contributing writer Jemele Hill, who defended people questioning the queen’s legacy.

“Journalists are tasked with putting legacies into full context, so it is entirely appropriate to examine the queen and her role in the devastating impact of continued colonialism,” wrote Hill.


Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, an associate professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Education, spoke out against a pushback toward those who were questioning Queen Elizabeth’s II’s legacy.

“Telling the colonized how they should feel about their colonizer’s health and wellness is like telling my people that we ought to worship the Confederacy,” she tweeted. “‘Respect the dead’ when we’re all writing these Tweets *in English.* How’d that happen, hm? We just chose this language?”

Eugene Scott, a national political reporter at The Washington Post, chose to address those who criticized the timing of those speaking out.

“Real question for the ‘now is not the appropriate time to talk about the negative impact of colonialism’ crowd: When is the appropriate time to talk about the negative impact of colonialism?” Scott asked.