Following the tragic death of George Floyd and the nationwide protests, celebrities are continuing to use their platforms to support the Black Lives Matter Movement.  Celebrities are doing anything and everything they can – protesting, donating and continuously asking, ‘what else can we do?’ or ‘what’s next?’

 

Selena Gomez, Lady Gaga, Shawn Mendes, Lizzo and many others have taken upon themselves to allow influential black leaders and organizations to amplify their voices through their Instagram accounts.

 

 

See what they have shared below.

 

Selena Gomez

Less than a week ago, Selena wrote on Instagram, “I have been struggling to know the right things to say to get the word out about this important moment in history. After thinking about how best to use my social media, I decided that we all need to hear more from Black voices. Over the next few days I will be highlighting influential leaders and giving them a chance to take over my Instagram so that they can speak directly to all of us. We all have an obligation to do better and we can start by listening with an open heart and mind.”

 

 

Selena has since kept that promise – see below for all posts, beginning with Alicia Garza, co-creator of Black Lives Matter.

 

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We keep asking “How did we get here?” The answer is that we’ve been here from the beginning. ?? ?? George Floyd’s death is part of a long history that connects slavery to our current system of mass incarceration. In the American South, places like Parchman Farm started as slave plantations and then became prisons after slavery ended. ?? ?? Racial violence has been a common theme in our history and was used to keep black people in a subordinate position. Just as George Floyd’s death opened people’s eyes in 2020, the lynching of 15 year old Emmett Till did in 1955. ?? ?? I’m including a clip from the film 13th, which discusses this history in detail and one reading suggestion: The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander. If we’re to ever change this terrible cycle it begins by recognizing just how deep its roots go.?? ?? — Jelani Cobb (@jelani1906)? ? ? “13th” directed by @ava is available on @Netflix

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Please meet Professor Sarah Elizabeth Lewis (@sarahelizabethlewis1 and sarahelizalewis on Twitter). She teaches art history and African & African American Studies at Harvard University, focusing on the relationship between images, race, and justice. She is the force behind the #VisionandJustice project, the landmark issue of @Aperturefnd magazine, a core curriculum Harvard course, and @visionandjustice conference. Her first book, The Rise is about the role of the arts for overcoming failure, and her related mainstage TED talk has received over 2.7 million views. Before going to Harvard, she held curatorial positions at MoMA and the Tate Modern in London and received her degrees from Harvard, Oxford, and Yale. In 2019, she became the inaugural recipient of the Freedom Scholar Award for her body of work on race and justice in America, presented by The Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Sarah is taking over my Instagram today!

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“What led to this racial crisis?” ? ? History shows us that culture—images, films, music, literature—not law alone, has led to this racial crisis and our focus on police violence. Culture is a powerful tool. It creates narratives that can honor human life or denigrate it.? ? Law alone did not result in the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, Travyon Martin, or any of the other unnamed lives lost due to racial terror. Law combined with culture shapes our social narratives. It can justify biases and stereotypes with deadly consequences. ? ? But this is also the good news. It means that we all have a role to play by how we shape, make, and engage with the culture around us. ? ? This is a 1 day Instagram class called, “How to See in a Racial Crisis.” You will get a new set of tools in the posts and stories through resources and artists to follow. Our 4 topics:? ? 1) Racial Terror as Culture (What is the connection between the history of lynching and the racial violence we are witnessing today?)? ? 2) Racial Bias in Media, Photography, and Tech (We’ll discuss how stereotypes and counternarratives are reinforced by culture)? ? 3) The Cultural Tie between Policing and Slavery (How did slave patrols, the surveillance of black bodies via the Fugitive Slave Act, and convict leasing help develop our police force?) ? ? 4) The Power of the Public Square (What does it mean to still have Confederate monuments in public?)? ? These are 4 arenas of our cultural battleground: Media, Images, Public Symbols, and Spectacles. Racial terror has impacted them all.? ? How we choose to see each day can be a form of daily activism. Understanding this is the mission of the @visionandjustice project. ? ? Please post in the comments and I’ll engage with as many of your questions as I can! I’m saluting Selena Gomez for turning over her platform for the purpose of education and justice for all. Thank you! Special thanks to @radcliffe.institute, @fordfoundation, Whiting Foundation, Lambent Foundation, @hutchinscenter, @americanrep, @harvardartmuseums, @aperturefnd, my colleagues, students, and many more for their support. Please be well and safe!? ? — @sarahelizabethlewis1

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We’ve heard many Americans—police officers, politicians, family members, perhaps you yourself—say that they are “not racist.” What’s the problem with being “not racist”? It is a claim that signifies neutrality: “I am not a racist, but neither am I aggressively against racism.” But there is no neutrality in the racism struggle. The opposite of “racist” isn’t “not racist.” It is “antiracist.” ? ? What’s the difference between a racist and an antiracist? A racist believes in the idea of a racial hierarchy; an antiracist views the racial groups as equal. A racist believes problems are rooted in groups of people; an antiracist locates the roots of problems in power and policies. Denial is the heartbeat of racism; confession is the heartbeat of antiracism. ? ? In order to be an antiracist, we must stop denying we have racist ideas, that we’re in some ways supporting racist policies, that we are being at times racist. We must acknowledge our own racism in order to start on our antiracist journey.? ? I hope the resources I am sharing in stories today help you on your own daily, lifelong journey to strive to be an antiracist. ? ? — Dr. Ibram X. Kendi (@ibramxk)? ? Thanks to @moveon for this video.

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Lady Gaga

Prior to lending her profile to various organizations, Gaga announced, “Starting tomorrow, I’m giving over my Instagram account to each of the organizations I’ve recently donated to, in an effort to amplify their important voices.  And after I vow to regularly, in perpetuity, across all of my social media platforms, post stories, content, and otherwise lift up the voices of the countless inspiring members and groups within the Black community.”

 

Gaga has since featured over 10 different organizations along with their leaders.  To see what Gaga has posted up until now, click here.
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Shawn Mendes

A few days ago, Shawn announced that he would also hand over his Instagram page to Black leaders and organizations, “I’ve decided to hand over my platform on Instagram & give my stories for the next few days to some incredible young Black changemakers on the frontlines in the fight against systemic racism. Please receive them with love and solidarity. The first is @zysaidso. You can also head over to @shawnfoundation‘s IG for more information on her efforts.”

 

 

Shawn, who was spotted protesting in Miami, shared his Instagram Stories with activist and strategist Zyahna Bryant on Friday (June 5).  Zyahna works centres in Charlottesville, Virginia, ‘taking down Confederate monuments and educational equity issues.’  Through Shawn’s Instagram, Zyahna shared, “Now is the time to move to action, now is the time to educate ourselves and do the reading, find the local people in your community who are doing anti-racist work.  Beyond just talking and posting on social media, I think we all have a responsibility to do our part to actually promote change.”

 

 

On June 6, Shawn gave his IG Story over to 19-year old activist, Winter Breeanne, from California  “I want to use this moment and this opportunity to move you all to productive action.  We need you to think beyond reform and to think about what it looks like to invest in the black communities to center our voices,” Winter shared.

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Quarantine tip #1: get some sun.

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Then, on June 8, writer and racial and gender justice leader Brea Baker who, according to ET, “Provided followers with lists of anti-racist reading and podcast recommendations for followers to start self-educating on undoing systemic racism.”
Instagram/ShawnMendes

 

Lizzo

To her 8.8 million Instagram followers, Lizzo shared, I believe in using my platform to give others the chance to speak. Join me tomorrow at 1pm PST/3pm CT to talk with @blackvisionscollective in Minneapolis to learn more about what’s happening in the heart of the protest, and how we can help.”

 

 

Other celebrities who are sharing their platforms include Riverdale’s Lili Reinhart, model Kaia Gerber and singer, Lauren Jauregui.

Filed under: black-lives-matter, instagram, lady-gaga, lizzo, selena-gomez, shawn-mendes