Black lives still matter, so let’s talk about how you can incorporate more Black voices into your daily life. There are three reasons you’re definitely going to want to follow the amazing Black creators I’ve linked to below. First, they’re incredible creators and their content is inspiring, informative, soothing, and more. Second, it’s important to make sure your feed is diverse, especially if your daily life isn’t. Following more Black creators is essential for breaking down the myth of a singular Black monolith, which you have almost definitely internalized through our society’s stereotypes.
Third, it’s an important step toward keeping the Black Lives Matter movement going. If your social media feeds have largely gone back to normal with little to no mention of BLM, then you need to upgrade your feeds. Plenty of people are still talking about racial justice, you just need to follow them.
So without further ado, here are 13 Black creators you need to follow on Instagram right now.
Ronide is one of my favorite mental health accounts on Instagram. She’s refreshingly honest about her mental health journey, including the parts most people gloss over, like self-harm, suicidal ideation, and ways mental illness can make you more selfish than you’d like to be. Ronide’s account is bold and colorful, and she creates a wide range of content. She draws amazing comics (her little doodle self is so cute), speaks out against racism, and shares her remarkably insightful tweets from her Twitter account (which I also recommend following). Plus, she’s super interactive with her followers. I’ve had several wonderful conversations with Ronide in our DMs, and she’s just a super cool person.
One way you can make sure to keep the BLM movement going in your personal circles is to share BLM posts in your daily stories. And Merci at @BlackGirlActivist has the best posts for sharing on your story. Her account is a curation of the best tweets about all kinds of social justice issues, like feminism, capitalism, and racism, especially anti-Black racism. Because of this, she has struggled with shadow bans, and as a result she has a backup account, @_blackactivist. I suggest following both, since they both feature amazing social justice content, and if her main account gets shut down, you’ll still be able to find her.
If you know anti-Black racism is a problem but don’t feel like you know enough to explain why or what we can do about it, you need to follow The Great Unlearn. This platform is “donation based community learning” created and curated by Rachel Cargle, an activist and public academic (an academic scholar with no affiliation with one particular university). This entire account is dedicated to unlearning the racism that is built into so many facets of American life. Each month has a new specific topic with a syllabus of reading materials and live “office hours” conversations via Zoom with experts on the topic, all available at The Great Unlearn’s Patreon. If you’re automatically thinking that such an amazing resource must be out of your price range, don’t worry. You can access these materials for as much or as little as you’re able to afford. I haven’t become a patron yet, but I think we’re going to add it into next month’s budget and I’m very excited.
It is absolutely vital for us to learn about the pain, oppression, and generational trauma that has been forced on Black bodies for centuries, but it’s also vital to see Black people just being…happy. Black people are not a stereotype of tragedy. Each Black person is their own unique being, experiencing both the pain of racism and the joys of everyday life. That’s why you need to follow Black People Laughing. It’s an entire account dedicated to showing off Black joy, happiness, laughter, and love.
I love blogging, but one of the downsides is that it is an overwhelmingly white hobby/occupation. Black bloggers don’t get nearly as much support as white bloggers, and even people with the best intentions to diversify their blog feeds may end up missing many Black bloggers because of shadow bans. Thankfully, Cup of Bri came across my feed and I can’t recommend her Instagram and blog enough. She writes about brunch and lifestyle in New York City, and I have been happily living vicariously through her ever since I started following her.
This is another one of my favorite Instagram mental health accounts. Faith Broussard Cade is the empathetic genius behind Fleur-de-lis Speaks, and she’s a therapist, mental health speaker, and wellness advocate who shares her wisdom through gorgeous selfies and hand-written “self-care notes.” Some notes are encouraging, others are validating, and some are just honest, even when the honest truth is brutal and sad. Her account never fails to make me feel seen, and if everyone on Instagram followed her, I think we would all be better off.
Rainbow Muse is an Australian therapy practice founded by Chenai Mupotsa-Russell, a licensed art therapist and psychotherapist, and the Rainbow Muse Instagram page is an explosion of color and validation. Art therapy is personally one of my favorite therapeutic tools, though admittedly I haven’t taken advantage of that tool recently. But just seeing some of the work Chenai and her fellow therapist Lucy make, alongside Chenai’s bright, encouraging quotes reminds me of the power of art therapy. If you need an occasional reminder that the world can be bright and happy, then you definitely need to follow Rainbow Muse.
Have you heard of “breakup recovery”? I hadn’t either before I started following Kay Zane’s account, Breathe Hustle Glow, but now that I follow her, it seems like the most necessary thing in the world. I’ve been extraordinarily lucky and have never gone through a breakup. I met my husband, fell in love, and we’ve been together ever since. But I know I’m one of the lucky few. Many people experience painful breakups and don’t always have the tools to process their emotions and protect themselves from harmful behaviors (like texting your toxic ex). That’s where Breathe Hustle Glow can help. Even though I’m in a very happy marriage, I still enjoy following Kay’s account because I see so much great advice I wish I could have given my friends in the past. Plus, if you’re looking for a little extra help, Kay also does breakup coaching where she offers various levels of assistance and support. If you’re struggling with your dating life, this one is a must-follow.
Every 20-something needs to follow Bria Paints and buy some of her art to make your shabby, young-adult home look like a real, grown-up home. Her work is beautiful, classy, and unique, with lots of earth tones to match nearly any color scheme. I’m absolutely putting these fruit pieces on my Christmas list this year!
I don’t know about you, but I love Tracee Ellis Ross. Whether you know her from Black-ish, Girlfriends, or just general celebrity notoriety, you need to follow her Instagram account. She posts a little bit of everything, which is my ideal aesthetic. She talks about social justice and racism, she talks about moving your body to keep the energy flowing, she posts cute selfies and features for her hair care line, Pattern, and generally she is just a joy to have in your feed.
I will be the first one to say that I am so glad I got my Master’s, but I’ll also say this: grad school is a bitch. But don’t worry, Darian from Melanated and Meducated is here to help you through. Darian is a med student, freelance writer, and blogger, and I recommend her Instagram account to everyone I know who’s in grad school. She provides so many useful tips, especially for med students specifically, plus lots of encouragements and reminders that she’s right there in the trenches with you.
Hello my fellow poets out there! Boy, do I have an account for you. Sonya Renee Taylor is a poet, activist, and author of the book “The Body Is Not An Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love.” That book is 100% going on my Christmas list this year too. Her Instagram account is mostly made up of videos where she talks earnestly about many facets of racism, from performative “wokeness,” to healing from generational racial trauma, and how capitalism is inherently linked to anti-Black racism. This is another vital resource if you want to be better educated about racism (and if you enjoy her videos, consider donating to her Venmo or Patreon; remember, making these videos is work, and Black labor is not free).
If you’re looking for more ways to really get involved with the Black Lives Matter movement, then you absolutely need to follow Kayla Reed. She is a leader of the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) organization, and she was one of the community leaders who helped organize the Ferguson protests back in 2014 after Michael Brown was murdered by police officer, Darren Wilson. She knows her stuff. I was lucky enough to hear her speak briefly through a Zoom event organized by M4BL, and if you follow her account, you will have all kinds of opportunities to hear her speak as well.
So there you have it, some of my all-time favorite Black creators on Instagram. I just noticed that this entire list is made up of women though…oops. So I desperately need you all to share IG links to some of your favorite male or nonbinary Black creators in the comments. And make sure you enter your email in the box below to subscribe so you don’t miss next week’s article on how monthly donations to the right organizations can turn the BLM movement into a revolution.