Selena Gomez Thanks "Inspiring" Black Leaders After Instagram Takeover
For the past two weeks, Selena Gomez has stepped back from her Instagram account, choosing to let a dozen Black thought leaders, authors, civil rights activists, historians, and more use her platform to share knowledge and advice. With over 180 million followers, it was a huge stage for each of the speakers and yesterday, Gomez thanked them for their time. Each of the conversations is still available via Gomez's Instagram Story highlights, so followers who missed out or wanted to re-watch a favorite can access them at any time.
"I want to thank all of the amazing people that took the time to speak to us directly," Gomez wrote. "I am blown away with your knowledge, eagerness to teach and commitment to ensuring Black voices are not silenced. Educating ourselves is the first step if we hope to make any progress in bringing an end to systemic racism. As much as one might want to believe things have gotten better we cannot deny any longer that they have not."
The individuals on Gomez's account were Alicia Garza, one of the co-creators of Black Lives Matter; writer, author, and professor Jelani Cobb; Kendrick Sampson, an actor and activist; Kimberlé Crenshaw, a civil rights advocate, lawyer, and professor; Sarah Elizabeth Lewis, author and professor; Ibram X. Kendi, a historian of racism and author; Grammy Award-winning rapper and activist Michael Render (more commonly known as Killer Mike); Nelini Stamp, the director of strategy for Working Families; Raquel Willis, an activist and media strategist; Ruby Bridges, a civil rights activist and author; educator Brittany Packnett Cunnigham; and Stacey Abrams, the first Black woman to earn the gubernatorial nomination for a major party in the United States.
"We need to acknowledge that social, political and economic discrimination against Black communities continues to exist," Gomez continued. "There is a deep pain that needs to be healed. Unless this is recognized history will continue to repeat itself over and over."
Gomez also asked her followers to learn about Juneteenth, the day that marks the end of slavery and the independence of enslaved people, two-and-a-half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Gomez urged her followers to "take the day to have conversations with your family and friends about the importance of Black Lives Matter and how we all need to join together to ensure equality and justice." She continued, telling her fans to vote, "Everyone needs to have their voices heard and we can do that by VOTING."
"It's not lost on me how fortunate I am to have this platform and appreciate you all for taking the time to watch, listen and take in the powerful messages and information we've been provided over the last two weeks by some of the most inspiring people I've come across in my life," she finished. "If you missed any of these incredible IG stories they are all saved in my Story Highlights under #BLM and #BLM2. This is just the beginning and we will continue to hear from other Black voices and as well as other marginalized communities I am committed to doing the work and I hope you join me."