Lady Gaga, Selena Gomez and More Turn Over Their Instagrams to Black Leaders: Here's What They Said

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Lady gaga Selena Gomez
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Amid the nationwide protests against police brutality, many celebrities are asking "what's next?" and "what can we do?" Thankfully a number of high-profile stars are lending their Instagrams and platforms to amplify black voices, leaders and organizations at the forefront of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Selena Gomez previously announced that she would be highlighting influential leaders and giving them a chance to speak directly to all of her 179 million-plus fans. Shawn Mendes, Lady Gaga,  Lizzo and more have also taken it upon themselves to hand over their social media pages. See what they have shared.

Selena Gomez

The "Rare" singer kicked things off on June 5 by introducing Alicia Garza, co-creator of Black Lives Matter and one of the founders of Black Futures Lab, an organization that works to make black communities powerful in politics.

Garza posted a video on Gomez's Instagram account explaining why people are protesting, as well as sharing insight on how to provide help and get involved.

"In order for us to change it, we got to join a movement, We all have to stand together and say, 'We won't take it anymore and here's what we want you to do instead,'" Garza stated. "We all deserve better. And when we're organized and when we have a plan, we can actually change the things that we don't like in the country, so that we can make it right."

On June 6, she introduced Jelani Cobb, a journalist at the New Yorker, professor at Columbia University and historian. Cobb took over Gomez's Instagram and shared a clip from Ava DuVernay's documentary, 13th, as well as shared photos from past protests, Colin Kaepernick's kneeling and more.

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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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On June 7, Gomez turned her platform over to Kimberlé Crenshaw, co-founder of the African American Policy Forum, host of the Intersectionality Matters podcast, moderator of the “Under The Blacklight" conversation series, law professor and much more.

Crenshaw, who helped popularize the "#SayHerName" viral movement, spoke on the importance of shining a light on black women and female victims of police brutality as part of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

"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," she wrote. "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."

Learn more at https://aapf.org/supportshn and @aapolicyforum.  

On June 8, Gomez handed her Insta over to Sarah Elizabeth Lewis, a professor of art history and African & African American Studies at Harvard University and founder of The Vision & Justice Project, which examines the relationships between art, culture and justice. Lewis presented followers with a one-day Instagram class titled "How to See in a Racial Crisis," promising resources in her posts and Instagram stories to aid self-education on racial bias in media, racial terror as culture and more.

"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," she wrote. "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."

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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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Lady Gaga

The "Rain on Me" singer also lent her profile to organizations she’s donated to such as Loveland Foundation, Black Lives Matter, Campaign Zero, Marsha P. Johnson Institute, Color of Change, Black Future Labs, Fair Fight, and National Lawyers Guild.

"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.

The first person she gave the mic to was Amber Goodwin from the Community Justice Fund. "We see you, we love you and we support you and we hear you," Goodwin said, as she explained that black people are "disproportionately impacted by gun violence at alarming rates…To reduce gun violence, we need white people and non-black people to do the work to dismantle these systems."

Lady Gaga Amber Goodwin
Instagram Story

Shawn Mendes

The Canadian crooner -- who was also spotted protesting in Miami -- shared his spotlight with activist and strategist Zyahna Bryant, who took over his Instagram Story on Friday. The Charlottesville, Virginia, native's work centers on taking down Confederate monuments and educational equity issues.

"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," she suggested. "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, he gave his IG Story over to Winter Breeanne, a 19-year-old activist from California, who began by explaining how she got involved in giving back to her community. Shethen shared resources on what to do next.

"I want to use this moment and this opportunity to move you all to productive action," she said. "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."

She also recommended people to visit Nourish NYC and Lifecamp Inc. for more info.

Winter Breeanne
IG Story/Shawn Mendes

On June 8, Mendes handed his Insta over to writer and racial and gender justice activist Brea Baker, who provided followers with lists of anti-racist reading and podcast recommendations for followers to start self-educating on undoing systemic racism. She also elevated The Gathering for Justice, spotlighted a lesser-known victim of police brutality, Akbar Rogers, and pointed out some Pride month-appropriate resources from the Atlanta-based, queer and trans-led Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative.

brea baker shawn mendes instagram
Instagram

Lizzo

The singer shared that she would be advocating for Black Visions Collective in Minneapolis so that people would learn more about what’s happening at the heart of the protest.

"I believe in using my platform to give others the chance to speak," Lizzo told her followers.

Lili Reinhart

The Riverdale star has been going Live daily on her Instagram page to to discuss racism, police brutality, and various personal experiences with activists, authors, and LGBTQ community leaders like Emmanuel AchoMonique Melton, Kimberly Drew.Frederick Joseph, Raquel Willis and Laura Montill.

Kaia Gerber

On June 5, the model turned her Instagram over to Black Lives Matter international ambassador Janaya Future Khan, for a Live conversation on "how to be your best self, and reclaim your story, even when it’s hard."

"I wanted @janayathefuture to take over my platform because this message is important," Gerber wrote. "Please watch and turn up your volume. thank you all for being respectful and showing love during the live ❤️#blacklivesmatter."

Lauren Jauregui

The singer went Live with actress and producer Julissa Contreras in June 7, to discuss racism and allyship within the Latinx community, as well as how the community can better stand up for black voices.

"We covered ALOT about allyship, gentleness, guilt, growth, and moving towards a new world!" Jauregui shared as she posted the clips after the chat. 

Following the death of George Floyd -- a 46-year-old Minnesota black man who died after a police officer held him down by the neck with his knee for more than eight minutes -- protests have taken place all over the nation.

Celebrities have been banding together to donate, march and raise awareness for Black Lives Matter. Watch the video below to see how they've been using their platforms.

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