What TF Did I Watch?: On Zola, Reesa Teesa, and Black Digital Storytelling

Faithe J Day
ZORA
Published in
9 min readFeb 25, 2024

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Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

If you are anything like me, you have probably spent the last couple of weeks completely engrossed in the cautionary tale of Reesa Teesa. For those who are not chronically online, Reesa Teesa is a content creator on TikTok who recently shared a multi-video narrative of her marriage and divorce. The "Who TF Did I Marry" series comprises approximately 50 parts and over five hours of content. Reesa Teesa's story also warns about the dangers of dating while feeling desperate.

Although many people were drawn to the plot of the story, my attention was captured by the millions of individuals who gathered online to view it. In today's digital age, it is rare for people to come together around shared content unless it is a significant event like the Super Bowl or America's Got Talent. Thus, I wanted to delve deeper into what the story of Reesa Teesa reveals about the way we interact and consume content online.

Specifically, the popularity of Reesa Tessa's story reminded me of a quote from the Black digital studies researcher Catherine Knight Steele. In the essay “Black Bloggers and Their Varied Publics,” Steele wrote,

“The Internet does not create a unique experience regarding community interaction. Instead, like other communication technologies, the Internet has the potential to be used by marginalized communities to challenge, extend, and refashion already existent resistant communication practices.”

Therefore, I would like to discuss how Reesa Teesa's storytelling and the audience she has built around it represent the longstanding tradition of Black orality and digital history that values the sharing of wisdom through lessons. Specifically, I will use various linguistic and communication theories to understand why so many of us are drawn to her story and others like it.

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Faithe J Day
ZORA
Writer for

Writer, Creator, and Educator. Millennial and Internet Expert. Learn more at https://fjday.com