Rolling Out

Sharkeisha and the impact of black violence that goes viral


In late November, a 90 second video instantly became one of the most discussed and shared clip of 2013. The video featured an aggressive Texas teenager, Sharkeisha, brutally attack another teen, ShaMichael Manuel.

Without warning, Sharkeisha hit Manuel with several vicious punches before kicking her while on the ground. The cell phone video soon went viral and led to memes, spoof videos and a countless number of jokes.

The Sharkeisha video was only a small slice of how black-on-black street violence has become somewhat of an online spectators sport. In the past decade, several websites have highlighted and profited from cell phone videos that feature black-on-black street violence.

In October, Facebook lifted its ban on violent videos in a move that would likely attract younger users who have left the social network in droves.

Similar to the Sharkeisha video, most of the violent videos show the worse aspects of black America. There are disturbing videos of children, women and elderly people fighting as spectators watch without intervening to stop the fights.

And the videos often receive a multitude of page views and comments. A lot of the comments tend to add fuel to those who are motivated by racist attitudes.

On YouTube, comments on the Sharkeisha video include, “She should go back to Africa where she belongs,” “What a disgusting animal” and “Sharkeisha is one animalistic beast. A 100 percent mudback from head to toe.”

But the violent videos also reveal how bullying is often rewarded. Sharkeisha became a trending topic on Twitter and gained internet fame moments after the video went viral. Others have also gained notoriety after being featured in a violent video. It’s highly likely that some misguided individuals will attempt to gain 5 minutes of internet fame through similar means.

America has always had an odd love affair with violence. It’s condemned and enjoyed simultaneously. The videos of black-on-black street violence is just another example of how black plight continues to be marketed to the masses.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Join our Newsletter

Sign up for Rolling Out news straight to your inbox.

Read more about:
Also read
Rolling Out