Another day, another list we’re excluded from, which inspires one of our own. Fast Company drew Black Twitter’s ire when they released a list of “25 of The Smartest Women of Twitter,” and not one woman of color made the cut.

The author, Ann Charles, described her selection process in the introduction, saying:

“We did not choose women based on number of followers or those listed as the ‘most powerful’ by other business publications. We made our selections without regard to big brand affiliation or title. Instead, we looked for women who were thought leaders and pioneers, and who continually advance groundbreaking ideas and provide surprising insights that can change perspectives.”

Surely, there are black women who are thought leaders and pioneers, and we don’t need Fast Company to tell us about them. The Huffington Post compiled an extensive list with such names as dream hampton, Michaela Angela Davis and Tai Beauchamp.

Twitter users also created a hashtag, #SmartBlackWomenOnTwitter, and many addressed Fast Company directly. They responded with the following tweet:


And they included a formal response today:

“There was some appropriate criticism about who was missing (“Spoiler alert: not one Black woman,” one Twitter user sharply, correctly noted). And we followed closely as the whole thing morphed into hashtags, including #SmartBlackWomenOfTwitter and #SmartLatinaWomenOfTwitter. You’ll find a treasure trove of big thinkers and innovators to follow there. We consider ourselves lucky to have an engaged audience who calls it like they see it (or don’t see it in this case).

We’re big believers in the idea that the future of business looks a lot less like Steve Ballmer and a lot more like Kelvin Doe, Yvonne Greenstreet, and Reshma Saujani. That idea is reflected in our annual lists, including Most Innovative Companies and Most Creative People. We squandered the opportunity to do the same with our initial Twitter list.”

No thanks – we already have a list of our own.

  • MimiLuvs

    I am just sick and tired of people pitching fits because they want to be included on lists that are designed for (and only for) the 2520′s. In fact, I am sick and tired of being sick and tired of listening to people pitch fits about being excluded from these types of lists.
    It’s reminds me of a kid throwing a temper tantrum in the middle of a playground because a certain group of children do not want to include him. He throws a fit long enough and it’s attention-worthy to the point where the group begrudgingly lets him in.

  • omfg

    i saw that list the other day.

    i thought it was so ridiculous.

    the response by the ann charles woman was just stupid. to say we didn’t choose by the number of followers…blah blah…was a horrible response.

  • silkynaps

    The other day, I wore a simple hairstyle that I didn’t think much about; so, I was pretty surprised that my boss, who is white, complimented my hair. I generally don’t think much about compliments one way or the other, but my boss, who’s usually GQ, was pretty giddy in a nerdy sort of way about my hair. I thought it was funny and jokingly mentioned it to a black male colleague and he said, “You know your hair is fly when people from other races compliment you. Especially, white men.”

    The interesting thing is that my colleague was dead-dog serious. He really believes that some white dude’s compliment has more weight…than say, some sexy mofo at that gym that I’d like to…or, let’s just say than a black dude’s.

    My question is…why is it so important that we, as Black people, be validated by white people? Why do these sisters even care that they aren’t on some arbitrary list from some, far as I’m concerned, unknown company?

  • Laura Charles


    “For us, by us”…. very strong concept.

    I’m starting to think these people just value the opinions, acceptance and validation of white people more than others. To me, it just looks pathetic to keep begging to be included. It’s giving more power to these people to know that you want to be included so badly.

  • Knotty Natural

    Still fighting to be included…

  • omfg

    i have to admit that while i don’t usually like the idea of always asking to be included, i feel like this was a bit different. it just struck me a certain way.

    maybe it was because the title implies they scoured the twitter world for the “smartest” women and concluded their friends were the smartest.

    this is a list that i really believe should have been more diverse.

  • sixfoota

    I get what everyone is saying, about the issue we have with white validation & I agree 100% it’s a problem BUT in this instance, I believe it’s more of a, “wth? Is you blind?” vs a “please include us!”. To think that they looked high & low & didn’t see one PoC to include in this list just shows we aren’t on their radar. Am I (or any of us) mad about it? Of course not! It’s just a normal day in America. But discussing it is not the same as someone seeking approval. Just bringing light to the ever-so-presence blinders white folk have on.

  • Marisa

    Frankly I have had about enough with these people don’t acknowledge blacks until its time to rip off our culture. Bottom line is our kids are the ones who need to see successful positive blacks doing something, that’s what is important for the black youth to see. If whites don’t who cares anymore they continue to prove, their overall view of blacks is the same as the days when blacks were dragged off of slave ships. Oh my bad I forgot they sure do love that Oprah, Michael Jordan and some of those black comedians sure are funny.

  • Ms. Information

    I am a long time subsciber to Fast Company and will continue to be…..I know who I am and don’t need to be on every list to boost my identity…we sound like a little brother or sister who is never invited along with the big kids…please.

  • Fox

    Why do people constantly expect others to include us anyway? Can we please pick our battles?

  • me

    Ugh, Thank you!

  • urbansista

    I don’t think it’s begging to be seen or accepted by white people. I think that Black people participate in mainstream culture. Create things that are used in mainstream culture. We are a part of mainstream culture. So, why are we not recognized in that respect? We don’t live in an all Black country or world. I agree that for us and by us is powerful and we need to salute and recognize our own people who are doing outstanding things, but I can totally understand people being annoyed as heck about this list. You searched up and down Twitter and not ONE person of colour is worthy of your list? C’mon son.

  • Sie

    Ann Charles is not very smart. Ire goes the reason no women of color was on the Smart Women of Twitter List

  • Sie

    correction “ere goes”

  • Teflon Jawn (@Author_JGail)

    I agree with most of you here, instead of complaining about not being included in white lists we should simply use these slights as motivation to make our own lists, movies, TV shows and productions. And thankfully I see that happening more and more.

    Additionally once you DO have your black production in operation, make sure you hire other smart brothers and sisters over those same people who edged you out in the first place. This is how the black community begins to revitalize itself.

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