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Issue 17 Out Now

The Impact of Clubhouse for the Black Community

Image via The Verge.

Clubhouse, a social app that launched in 2020 owes much of its success to the black community.

Clubhouse is a social media app created in April of 2020 by Paul Davidson and Rohan Seth amid the pandemic. The popular app is an invitation-only audio app where thousands of users can gather to connect and speak on various topics.

According to Forbes, the app gives users access to celebrities, public figures, influencers, and from time-to-time billionaires. Topics discussed on the app range from health, marriage, how to run a successful business, and so much more. Each user has five invites they can use to invite people of their choosing.

Clubhouse quickly became an internet sensation; the app was trending on all social media platforms as people tried to find anyone that would invite them to join the app. The app became a social club, and if you weren’t a member, then you were missing out.

The Root published an article saying, “much of the initial outreach went to Black musicians, comedians, and influencers: the community of clout creation. They (and we) are well aware of the social and cultural influence that Black creators and entertainers have and the ability to leverage these personalized brands to build an audience wherever they land. So, they used personal connections to recruit these folks onto the platform then watched as those influencers’ fans and followers signed up, spending significant time on the app, and then racing to Twitter to talk about what was happening.”

Initially, Silicon Valley capitalists and tech workers used the app as a way to meet. However, the app became more diverse as Black creatives joined the app and invented a new meaning for the app.

Aniyia Williams, founder of Black and Brown Founders, an organization that supports Black and Latinx entrepreneurs spoke on the burst of creativity within Clubhouse once the app became more diverse. Williams went on to credit Black creators with being trendsetters and culture makers in America.

“That ingenuity is the other side of being oppressed. At the end of the day, that’s the thing that unites Black people,” Williams said in an interview with CNBC. “Being a have-not forces you to think and see the world differently, and it makes Black people naturally creative and creators in ways that they’re not even trying. It’s just the way that they operate.”

Over time, Clubhouse became recognized as a place where Black voices could be heard and listened to by an active audience. Today, the app has over 10 million active users and is worth $1 billion.

Black journalist Ernest Owens recalls an iconic moment on the app that he’ll never forget. “There are moments that I will never forget, such as the time when Black performers did an entire voice-over reenactment of Disney’s The Lion King or when they had live open auditions for the Broadway hit Dreamgirls.”

There is no denying the influence of Black creators in America. In recent news, the app continues to grow as TED recently announced that beginning July 12th, TED will host TED Talks to the social media app.


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