Shantira Jackson (@tira_son) on Babies, Grandparents, and Trolls
Shantira Jackson is a writer for the upcoming BET show 50 Central, a former writer for Cards Against Humanity, and a Second City Mainstage Alum. She is unapologetically Black and loves ice cream. Follow her on Instagram at @tira_tira_tira. This week, Jackson shared with me three of her favorite tweets, and we talked about when she tweets the most, the musician JoJo, and trolls.
Person: Would you like to eat 6 string cheeses in a row?
Person: We deep fried em and there will be tomato sauce.
Me: Oh, ok, yes.
— Shantira Jackson (@tira_son) April 19, 2017
I’m an actor in Chicago and I’d gotten sick and had be put on vocal rest. After my sixth day of not speaking I found myself at a bar with some mozzarella sticks just trying to live my best life. I’m a daughter of the South and I got to thinking about how frying anything can turn a so called unacceptable meal into an acceptable meal. I guess my actual vocal silence came out loud and clear on Twitter. It seemed to really resonate with folks which was a pleasant surprise. Also, I fucking love cheese.
Are there conditions or situations—like vocal rest—that especially lead to you tweeting?
Honestly boredom and this current administration. Most of my tweets are written while I’m on public transit and observing my surroundings or in direct response to the messages I receive from multiple news outlets about my constitutional rights being stripped away. The CTA is a shit show and so is our current administration. Both are great fodder for tweets.
Looking back on your tweets, can you typically remember the conditions of when you made them?
Yeah, I’m always in my feelings, so my tweets aren’t usually jokes so much as me describing how I sobbed after watching a baby hear his mother for the first time.
I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to, PSYCH – get the fuck outta here – I’m burning down the patriarchy #BOYBYE 🙋🏿✌🏿✊🏿
— Shantira Jackson (@tira_son) December 19, 2016
This is a nod to Hollywood’s nonsense and the bullshit of the patriarchy while, most importantly, celebrating our one true Queen Beyonce’. Simple and straight to the point, just the way I like it.
What are your favorite subjects to tweet about? Are there subjects you purposely don’t tweet about?
I like to tweet about the singer JoJo. I love JoJo, dogs and babies being cute, being a Black Woman and how simultaneously cool and exhausting that can be and most recently how garbage our president is. There aren’t any subjects I purposefully stay away from, hence the last subject of that list.
What kind of impact, if any, do you hope for your Twitter to have on people who read it?
I hope my Twitter makes people laugh and think. I hope people listen to some music they never listened to and follow the poets I follow and I pray to never be dragged by Black Twitter because Black Twitter is everything. I’m a comedian and I’m an activist and I love a good Kermit meme. We’re all just trying.
Never surprised. Always disappointed. Feels familiar. My Blackness. You always wanted to touch it. This is what it feels like.
— Shantira Jackson (@tira_son) November 9, 2016
After the election I called my 74 year old Grandma and I asked her how she felt about the results. She was born and raised in Florida and she simply stated that she had seen Jim Crow up close and personal and that she was not phased. My grandmother had seen men and women sprayed with fire hoses and separate water fountains and bus boycotts. She told me how awful it was and that those men and women who where against civil rights in her youth were still here in America living their lives just like she was and that those same people were more than ready to vote for Trump. People love Black culture, our food and music and our clothes but no one wants to be Black. The day Donald Trump became president was the first day that many White people felt what it was like to be Black. All that hard and work and hopeful expectation and they got fucked. That’s Blackness in America. I simply wanted to explain that election night didn’t leave Black folks surprised. That was just another fucking Tuesday night.
Has Twitter since the new administration had more of a positive, negative, or neutral affect on you?
As a Black woman this administration doesn’t surprise me, I’m from Florida, I knew America had enough racism in just that state alone to elect Trump. The only effect that it has had on my Twitter is that I have more trolls and that pretty much leaves me neutral because I’ve always been anti troll and pro Black Lives Matter. I still post the same things that make me happy, but the things upset me are more frequent, usually announced every hour on the hour in my push notifications. Maxine Waters 2020 baby! Lord help us.
Jenny Nelson lives, writes, and performs in Brooklyn.