The singers—who have a combined Instagram following of 200 million—are letting influential black leaders and organizations take over their social media profiles to help amplify their voices and causes.
Selena Gomez and Lady Gaga are voicing their support for the black community as nationwide protests demand justice and police accountability following the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and more. The singers—who have a combined Instagram following of 200 million—recently announced that they'll be letting influential black leaders and organizations take over their social media profiles to help amplify their voices and causes. "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," Gomez wrote on Instagram last week.
"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," added Gomez, who became the most followed celebrity on Instagram in 2016. On Friday, the singer featured Alicia Garza, a co-creator of Black Lives Matter and creator of Black Future Labs, a group working to "make Black communities powerful in politics."
According to TODAY, Garza posted a video to the celeb's feed in which she spoke about the importance of police accountability. "People are in the streets right now because black people are being murdered by police and police are not being held accountable," she told Gomez's 179 million followers. "This is a big, big problem. Everybody is taught that if you do something wrong, you have to make it right. And when it comes to black folks and police, there is a dynamic where black people are being murdered — sometimes on camera, sometimes not — by police and police are not having to make it right."
Jelani Cobb, journalist at the New Yorker, a Columbia University professor, and historian, took over the singer's profile on Saturday and shared a clip from the film 13th. "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," he captioned the post. "If we’re to ever change this terrible cycle it begins by recognizing just how deep its roots go."
Kimberlé Crenshaw, co-founder of the African American Policy Forum and host of the Intersectionality Matters! podcast, shared the origins of the #SayHerName campaign on Sunday. "After the police killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown in 2014, AAPF joined thousands of others to protest anti-Black police brutality, marching under a banner with the names of Black women killed by police. When we didn't hear their names, we began chanting 'Say! Her! Name!' That’s when our #SayHerName campaign was born. Working with families of slain Black women, we resist their invisibility by telling their stories," she explained.
Meanwhile, Lady Gaga vowed to "lift up the voices of the countless inspiring members and groups within the Black community" in perpetuity across all of her social media platforms, post stories, content, and otherwise. "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," she wrote on Friday. So far, she has featured leaders from the organization Community Justice Action Fund, a nonprofit working to end gun violence in communities of color.