In less than a month, Instagram has become a space in which I can no longer zone out or avoid going to bed (yes, I'll admit it), and I could not be more grateful. If you're following the right accounts, it is not only a one-stop shop for valuable information, petitions, and organizations to donate in support of the Black community.
It is also an opportunity to educate yourself on Black culture and to see each Black person as exactly that: a person.
While researching, reading, and reflecting about the injustices against people of color is absolutely vital to being an ally, it's also important to support Black creators as they find joy in doing what they love.
For my generation especially, this is an excellent way to make social media a healthier, more meaningful habit. Instead of cringing and complaining about how addicted we're all becoming to social media, we can try to make social media a useful tool to keep us aware.
Social media is supposed to be a way in which we can keep up with our friends and family as well as stay connected with the world in general.
But, I would argue that most of our feeds (including mine) do not genuinely reflect the population of the world.
If you're not sure where exactly to start, I've put together a list of Instagram accounts featuring Black creatives I've recently started following, all with varying interests and/or styles:
1. Liana Farmer (@bylianarae)
Liana is a visual artist and art teacher based in Boston, MA. Her paintings focus on the human form, and her beautiful minimalist style does not disappoint. Be sure to check out her website.
2. Melissa Koby (@mkoby_)
Melissa started sharing her illustrations on Instagram just this year in order to spread love and create unity after practically the entire world went on lockdown due to COVID-19.
You can find her gorgeous digital art prints inspired by people and plants on her Etsy.
3. Tabitha Brown (@iamtabithabrown)
The second you visit Tabitha's Instagram page, I can guarantee instant comfort and joy. She's an actress who shares vegan recipes through videos that are both helpful and hilarious. For more about Tabitha, visit her website.
4. Victory Boyd (@victoryboyd)
Victory comes from a whole family of musicians and was discovered in Central Park by Jay-Z in 2016. If that doesn't sell you already, her gorgeous voice and moving songwriting certainly will. Be sure to listen to her debut album The Broken Instrument.
5. Dom Roberts (@domrobxrts)
Dom is a graphic designer whose aim is to start uncomfortable and important conversations about race while also providing valuable information and resources. She's involved with an organization called The Uncomfortable.
They will soon be selling T-shirts and donating 100 percent of the proceeds towards organizations fighting racism and police brutality. Follow The Uncomfortable Instagram account as well to know when the presale becomes available.
6. Brandon Kyle Goodman (@brandonkgood)
Brandon is an actor that stars in the show Modern Love and is a writer for the animated series "Big Mouth." I've personally been very grateful for his willingness to make IGTV videos sharing his experiences, feelings, and advice. Watch Modern Love on Amazon Prime.
7. Emmanuel Acho (@emmanuelacho)
Emmauel used to be a linebacker for the NFL, but is now working as an analyst on Fox 1 and filming episodes for his new web series Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man.
It instantly went viral earlier this month. His episodes have already included conversations with big names like Matthew McConaughey and the Gaines family.
8. Leah Thomas (@greengirlleah)
Leah is a California-based intersectional environmentalism activist and eco-communicator. And if you don't know what either of those terms mean, check her out, because you should. Visit her website and blog to read about how to treat both the Earth and other humans better.
9. Oris Eddu (@breathelive9explore)
You are sure to find a gift for a loved one (or for yourself!) in Oris' shops, which are chock-full of prints, phone cases, stickers, and more with joyful, colorful designs. Be sure to visit both her Etsy and Society6 shops.
10. Aurélia Durand (@4ur3lia)
Aurélia's eye-popping illustrations seem to dance off the page. Not only can you buy posters and t-shirts with her incredible work on them.
You can also see her illustrations in This Book is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell, which aims to teach young people about racism and how they can be active allies.
11. Tayo Kuku Jr. (@tayojr)
Tayo is a photographer and director based in Washington D.C., and his work is nothing short of powerful. He's been featured in magazines such as Forbes and The New Yorker, and his latest series Absorption is breathtaking. Check out Absorption and his other work on his website.
I want to thank all of these influencers/creators/artists for so generously sharing their talents, experiences, and resources. Let's all commit to making our social media feeds both educational and diverse, and reflect on how we can be supportive, active allies in all aspects of our lives.