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It Took a While, but Black Emojis Are Finally Here!

Lauren R.D. Fox | Madame Noire   in  ·
April 9, 2015

The need for more diverse emojis is at an all-time high while we wait for Apple’s iOS 8.3 software to update our emoji keyboards. Because of this, various app developers have created their own emoji keyboards to reflect cultural diversity in texts or iMessages.

New on the emoji market is the WeMoji app, which features “culturally relevant emoticons” for the Black and Hispanic community. Whether it be familiar hand signs, hygiene items or favorite products used by Black and Hispanics, creators Trey and Donovan Brown of WeMoji sought a targeted appeal. Some features of WeMoji include: female emojis that are sporting fashionable hair buns (#bunlife), the lob (long bob) or for males, the classic high top fade. Other items on the keyboard include, a Gucci bag, HBCU hat and some Greek hand signs.

When I downloaded the app, I found a variety of Caribbean and and Latin American flags (I’m happy to see my parents’ country, Guyana, represented.) But while I was excited to use the keyboard, it functioned slowly. When I used the keyboard to type, the words took a long  time to populate on the screen and the emojis do not function like the Unicode Consortium emojis we are used to. Instead of being inserted in the text box, the emojis were sent as pictures. You have to press the emoji you want and then click paste in the text box. For the app to work, you will need to give it full access to your keyboard, which gave me a security concern.

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