Black Lives Matter is an organization founded in 2013 by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi. The hashtag Black Lives Matter was created as a means to communicate their message on a global scale. The main mission of the Black Lives Matter movement is to increase awareness surrounding Black communities around the world. 

Viral Nation prides itself on equality and diversity would like to take this opportunity to amplify some of our black creators’ voices through a series of questions regarding social media use as a Black creator. The following creators chose to participate and share their candid experiences and thoughts regarding their social platforms. 

 

Tre Clements

trey clements

TC: My name is Tre Clements. I started creating content on Tik Tok about a year ago. I started creating because I was just bored and I wanted something to do to fill the time. Creating content helped with that and when I started it, I loved it and I haven’t stopped.

 

Domonique Cynthia

dom cynthia

DC:  My name is Domonique Cynthia, I am a rising junior at the University of Pennsylvania. I live in upstate New York, and basically spend most of my time making YouTube videos within the university realm which is my niche. I’m super passionate about videography, photography, filming, editing, fashion, and modeling as well.

 

Cameron Henderson

cameron henderson

CH: My name is Cameron Henderson, I do a lot of mashups, dancing and comedy skits. I like to think of my brand as the intersection between music and comedy. I’ve been at it for 11 years. I enjoy creating so much and wouldn’t trade it for the world.

 

J.R. Rivera

j.r. rivera

JR: My name is J.R. Rivera, I’m from Fort Myers, Florida. I’ve taught high school math for 10 years, and I am a dedicated father. I played indoor professional football, I’m a motivational speaker and author. I love to create cool, informative posts and I also like to enlighten others as they go throughout their day.

 

Sydney Stanford

sydney stanford

SS: – My name is Sydney Stanford. I got into social media because it allowed me to be myself and also to be the person that I needed to be to other girls and people who are a lot like me. It’s given me an opportunity and a platform. 

 

Donnell Blaylock Jr.

donnell blaylock jr

DB: My name is Donnell Blaylock Jr. I’m from Grand Rapids, Michigan, but live in LA now. I took a chance on social media in 2015. Instagram is my main channel. I haven’t tapped into Twitter, that’s a whole different ball game. Social Media has given me an opportunity to have a voice and be vocal on a regular basis. 

Viral Nation compiled a list of questions for these black creators relating to their experiences in both social justice and on social media, and you can find their answers below.

 

What Are Some Of The Positive Experiences That Social Media Has Provided You?

TC: I’ve been able to meet a lot of people through social media. I’ve made a lot of new friends and a lot of great opportunities. I have been flown out to places. A lot of great opportunities have been presented to me and also, the money is good.

CH: Social media has provided a lot of positive experiences for me, I get to share my work, connect with people, build this community of people who love memes and random, crazy stuff. I also get to make money. The money is nice! The main thing that I would say that’s a positive experience is really just getting to inspire people and see people who have started their creative journey because they saw me online. I think that’s so powerful!

JR: It has given me a platform to reach some of my goals. Once I became an educator, I always wanted to reach outside of my classroom. So being able to help those students in the hallway, students that may have been athletes that weren’t in my class started that itch for me to want to reach more students than what I was responsible for in my seven periods of teaching. I gave in and created an Instagram to post only motivational things. I posted motivational content for 2.5 years straight without missing a day and one day Nick Cannon reached out to 3K followers. That allowed me to continue being consistent and I ended up winning the most inspiring Instagram in the US by BET in 2015. Once I became a father, having a son, I wanted to shine that light on Black fathers that are often viewed as not in the picture or interactive with their kids. Every day, I try to shine a light on the simple fact that there are Fathers out there that look like me, that actually care about their kid’s lives and continue to show that different aspect and change the narrative.

 

Do You Feel There Is A Supportive Community For You On Social Media?

DC: There are so many supportive people out there. They would leave comments on my videos of uplifting messages or how the video’s changed their perception on life. Whenever I post, I usually get a thank you message in the DMs or through YouTube’s comment section as, ‘oh my gosh, you helped me by inspiring me to get all A’s this semester because I want to go to Yale, I want to go to Harvard and your videos have encouraged me to try in school and show that it is attainable to go to a top tier University. So even though I’m helping my subscribers and my Instagram followers, I feel as though they’re helping me by continuing telling me, ‘this is working, thank you, thank you, thank you’, to where I keep filming, even though I might be tired and busy. 

cameron henderson headshot

I definitely think there’s a supportive community, for me on social media and I think there’s a supportive community for everybody. You just have to find your community. But that’s really the beauty of social media that your people, your tribe or however you want to say it, they’re out there, you just got to do a little digging and find them.

-Cameron Henderson

JR: I will have to say yes because I was able to tap into the other educators that look like me and connect with them. I was also able to tap into communities that celebrate black fathers. For me, I was able to seek out and also be sought out as a person in those different realms that have influenced me and to also be able to feel welcome, feel celebrated, and supported by those different platforms. Then, also the people that like that type of content started following me. I have a large community that I’ve built, and people that support what I’m doing on social media. 

 

Can You Give Us Some Examples Of Black Creators That Inspire You?

JR: Number one that jumps out to me is Steve Harvey. I’m a big follower of Steve Harvey. I was fortunate enough to win a contest and I got to meet him in 2017. I was able to understand his journey and especially him being so transparent with his story. He’s showing you that, you can’t just sleep all morning and think that you’re going to be successful. Dr. Eric Thomas was one of my mentors. I’ve been following him since I found out that I had this gift of speaking. I’ve interacted with him and I’ve been to some of his conferences. His content on social media is very inspiring. His most famous quote is, “When you want it as bad as you can breathe, then you’ll be successful”. So, for me, those two definitely stick out to me. ‘Earn Your Leisure’ is one that I’ve just started following. And they actually show different types of ways business-wise that African Americans have been successful. 

sydney stanford image

SS: Demetrius Harmon and the reason I love him is because he’s a black man who promotes mental health. He talks about mental health very openly, which is hard, especially for black men in the community. Most black men when they do speak about it, are seen as less manly when it shouldn’t feel that way shouldn’t be that way. It’s a huge stigma. I feel like he’s doing a great job at crushing that stigma. 

DB: First and foremost, Ian Dunlap, @themasterinvestor on Instagram, a good friend of mine. He is somebody that I look up to in the world of finance and investing stocks, futures, the whole nine. It speaks volumes just because when it comes to investing in the stock market or whatnot, it always kind of turns our community off. You think, “I can’t even associate with it because I don’t know”. The other two guys from ‘Earn Your Leisure’. One is a financial advisor, they are always dropping gems and they bring a ton of black entrepreneurs to interview.

 

What Are Some Of The Challenges You’ve Experienced On Social Media? How Have You Navigated Them?

TC: So the creative block is definitely real. When you’re creating a bunch of new content daily, especially if it’s short form, it becomes draining and when you’re drained, it’s really hard to want to continue. I’ve been able to navigate this by not forcing myself to create content. I only create when I want to really and when I can’t, I don’t. I really don’t like forcing myself because as soon as I force myself, I don’t want to do it anymore. Then, I just want to push it off and I make something that I’m not proud of. Negativity is a really huge topic on social media, so it can be hard to balance. 

CH: A lot of people try to conform to what they think people want and I think that’s the number one mistake that you can make as a creator. Also, bought into the numbers game and this got that many views. Over the years, I’ve learned that it’s not that deep, just create, express yourself, do your best and put it out into the world. I know that the numbers matter when you’re thinking from a business perspective. I’ve learned that if you buy into how many views things are getting, that’s the quickest way to kill your creativity and not want to try new things because you can easily see what works. I’ve just learned to express myself and let things unfold however they unfold.

I guess censorship to a certain degree. This whole “cancel culture” situation where you can’t have an intelligent conversation, or you can’t be on the opposing end of a conversation. Like there’s no real open dialogue anymore, where people can just come to the table and be like, “Hey, this is how I feel. We don’t have to agree. But we can shake hands”. For me, it’s a lot of situations that are kind of touchy. I just pick my battles at this point. If it is super sensitive, I won’t go overboard. I might just chime in and see what’s going on and maybe ask some open-ended questions.

-Donnell Blaylock Jr.

 

How Do You Think BLM Has Done On Social Media Thusfar? What Are Your Thoughts On Black Out Tuesday And Its Effect On Social/Cause?

DC: I think Black Lives Matter did an amazing job on social media at the beginning. Nobody posted anything if it didn’t have to do with Black Lives Matter. So every day, we were seeing new updates of what’s going on and seeing protests, various global locations, and just a ton of education, movies, and videos to watch, podcasts to listen to, etc. And now, I don’t see anything but people’s typical food posts, dog posts, bikini pics, like it’s completely back to normal. So I do think that our society, especially Generation Z, tends to have a very short attention span, hence why Tik Tok is so short because we kind of want to keep moving. So we gave Black Lives Matter our attention for the short span of time and now onto the next but no, black people are still dying, we still haven’t fixed the problems that we need to fix within police departments. I think the idea and the goal of Blackout Tuesday was lost in translation, and people just completely did it wrong. So I started telling people to delete the black squares because no information was being spread. People weren’t getting angry, which even though nobody wants to be angry, that was what was keeping the movement alive. So if all we were seeing was black squares, we weren’t seeing please finish. Challenge anymore. It was the complete opposite of what the intent was. 

JR: It has opened up some eyes, but there’s a consistency that needs to come across. I haven’t seen that consistency yet. I’ve seen things like #myblackreceipt. I thought that that was something that was really cool, where they are actually calculating all of the people who are putting in their receipts from buying from Black business owners and this is not just a one-time thing like Blackout Tuesday. It’s something that’s very necessary in our community to understand that our dollars matter, and that if we’re able to keep them in our community, we can uplift each one of us. If we invest in one another, that’s how other communities flourish in America. I believe that Black Lives Matter got the conversation started. But at the same time, there’s no real vision for Black Lives Matter. 

SS: When it comes to the Black Lives Matter and when it comes to Blackout Tuesday, I kind of have mixed emotions. I’m very behind Black Lives Matter, I feel like just the saying in itself is very powerful. I do think that it could be more organized. I think that we as a unit, as a group of people could all be way more organized about how we do things. I think it’s gotten better and I do think that organization would help a lot more. I think that showed in Blackout Tuesday because there was a certain point where everybody was posting their Black pictures and nobody could see anything on the #BlackLivesMatter, which was an issue because we were in the middle of a war. I hate to say it, but we were really in the middle of a war. We had people out in the streets who needed this information that was now being hidden. I think that it’s just being more aware because if we did Blackout Tuesday today, I feel like it would have been much more successful. It wouldn’t have blocked people from seeing important messages.

 

Have You Experienced Overt Or Subliminal Racism On Social Media? If So, Can You Explain A Time?

TC: I’d say in the DMs a lot, it happens a lot there. Also, in comments where people don’t think that you see, but I do scroll through my comments sometimes and then see some messages that are just crazy, and blatantly racist. They would say things about my life. For example, like the size of my nose, my appearance, or my skin color. They would call me names and use racist terms. That’s definitely been hard; but you just have to remind yourself that you can’t see them, you don’t know them and they don’t know you. Most of these people have no profile picture so that’s OK.

cameron henderson

CH: I’ve experienced a lot of racism, I mean, racial slurs, homophobic slurs, whatever you can think of, I’ve probably gotten it in a comment on my posts. Pretty much all the content I create is for Black people. So when it gets pushed out into the world, there can be a lot of different perceptions about what I’m doing, which I understand. To be honest, I really don’t feed into anything negative that people say online and I’ve learned that those people are really just caught in their own storm. It really is a waste of time to argue with them or anything like that. I let people say whatever they’re gonna say, I think that’s the price of putting yourself out there.

SS: Sometimes I have felt racism. In regards to feeling and being subjected to racism, I feel like I’ve been very lucky simply because I am a “white passer”. A lot of people don’t know what it is, but I deal with a lot of microaggressions which are mostly people asking me (on a daily basis) what am I? I think it’s very blatant when you look at me – I’m mixed with something, but the majority of me is Black. If I get pulled over by the cops, I’m black. At the end of the day, I think that that in itself is offensive because I find it to be then basically saying, I can’t just be black to be beautiful or exotic or whatever. So I think that’s probably the biggest form of racism that I’ve personally dealt with. Also, just the people telling me I’m not black enough, or I’m very literate with my words, and I speak very clearly and pronounce my words. Therefore that makes me white, or whitewashed, and I think that’s probably the most frustrating part.

 

Do You Feel Conversations Online Are Translating Into Real-life Action?

tre clements

People are changing their mindset a lot and they’re starting to be more open-minded. They’re not as closed-minded as in the past, so yes, I believe people are changing. People are becoming educated, and they’re taking steps forward to try to be better.

-Tre Clements

DC: I believe that our conversations online have not been translated into real-life action, I think a lot of people use social media just to post a Black Lives Matter post and then say, ‘oh, I did it. I’m good like a checkmark by my name’. When instead of actually donating, or going to protest, they’re just posting their black square and then call it a day. I think that a lot of it isn’t translating into real-life action, which is probably why not as much has been improved since we started the movement this year.

JR: Absolutely. I believe that is translating into people actually wanting to be a part of the process. I’m gonna speak from my standpoint, as far as an educator, I saw teachers that have actually invested in getting more literature that represents those Black and Brown students in the classroom. I’ve seen teachers reaching out to myself and other colleagues that are speakers in the teacher realm and asking for information and listening. That’s the big thing that people are actually listening. There’s More African-American males that are looking each other in the eye and saying, “Hey, how are you doing, brother? How are you doing, man?”. I feel like that wave has started to come. I’ve also seen more non-African-American people step up too. 

I had a white woman stop me and my kids while I was in Target shopping and she said, “Hey, I just wanted to tell you that I really liked seeing you and your kids interacting”. She then complimented me on my shirt that I had on that said something about educators. And she said, “You know, I’m a teacher. I really believe that Black Lives Matter.” I responded something to the effect of, “I truly appreciate you telling me that. I’m also an educator too”. It was a beautiful conversation and it’s a lesson that if you walk by someone, regardless of the color of their skin, live in the moment and give a compliment. 

 

Has Social Media Helped Amplify Your Voice During This Historic Time?

TC: Social media has amplified my voice by providing me with a lot of support and opportunities. I have received a lot of Black Lives Matter related jobs from the social media platforms themselves. There was the whole Black Lives Matter movement initiative that happened on Tik Tok with the profile picture. Iit was really comforting to see that a bunch of the comments were similar to, “Hi, I see you. I stand with you. I’m with you.” It was really cool knowing that there is someone or people out there who do stand with me and who do support me which is a great feeling.

DC: Social media has helped the Black Lives Matter movement and has helped to amplify my voice for sure. It was interesting because during the Black Lives Matter movement phase that we had a couple months ago, I started gaining way more followers than I ever have, as well as, way more subscribers. It was, it was kind of an interesting feeling because you’re thankful for the subscribers and followers, but you don’t know if people are just following you because they like you or they just want to ease their guilt of trying to finally support black people. It’s a bittersweet feeling that I experienced at the very least. Of course, I’m grateful for the people that did follow me but I just don’t know if it’s genuine because of the movement. I think social media allowed me to show my thoughts through my Youtube channel of why I believe Black Lives Matter and also my peers’ opinions on it, which was a really cool thing. I don’t think a lot of people have that advantage or the opportunity to showcase on a platform as big as mine.

cameron henderson picture

CH: I definitely think that social media has helped me to amplify my voice online. Like I said, I really just try to put positive things out there to combat all of the other craziness that’s going on. I get a lot of messages that I help people laugh or have a better day and I think that if everybody just took the perspective of doing what they can do, to contribute more positive energy to the world, the world would be a much better place. I think people don’t know what they’re capable of doing. Sometimes they just do nothing But if protesting and marching is what you do, do that! If making people laugh is what you do, do that! Whatever you’re doing, make sure you’re contributing good vibes and good energy to the world and I think the world will be a better place. 

 

How Do You Personally Respond To Individuals With Opposing Views On Social Media Professionally?

DC: I do respond to individuals with opposing views on social media professionally. Similarly to what I mentioned before, I don’t delete comments. I leave them there to spark a conversation. For me, my personal videos, or Instagram posts, I leave it up and let people converse through my platform. If it is really out of pocket, I might respond. But if it’s subtle, smaller things, I usually just leave it there for conversation. If I’m scrolling through Instagram, and I personally see something that’s not mine that I think is the opposite of my views, I might screenshot it and bring it to my friend’s group chat, and we’ll talk about it in our group chat fleshed out why we think they thought that what we believe is correct. But again, if it’s really out of pocket, then I might address it myself on social media.

CH: I typically don’t respond to people who have opposing views, especially if they are doing it in a negative way. What I’ve learned is that if people really want a reaction, then they will just keep talking. And, if they’re trying to reconfirm what they believe, because subconsciously, they know it’s wrong, they will just keep talking too. I really don’t do much responding. I think a lot of things would change in this world if we would just ignore, you know how when a kid is throwing a tantrum, and you just kind of ignore them, and then they stop. That’s what social media is like, if you engage with those people, you know, a lot of times they’re just looking for engagement. Long story short, I tried not to feed into things or go down these rabbit holes of conversation that really have no true resolve. I think if you’re talking to somebody that’s opening to listen, that’s a different story. But yeah, for the most part, it’s a waste of energy.

DB: It is funny because sometimes it depends on how the situation is being brought to me. You’ve got some people, I don’t know if they’re bots or trolls. Then, you get some people that I don’t know if they’re super passionate about it, or they just want to come on your page and talk crazy. I don’t know. But sometimes, I feel like I have time and I want to have that dialogue. I’m gonna say facts, but sometimes people get so emotional and wrapped up in what they’re talking about. They dismiss facts in certain areas. And I’d be like, I understand how you identify with the situation. But if I can bring in facts or you know, I mean, if the person wants to go check on the fact as well, we can have that open dialogue at the end of the day, but just saying some because that’s how you feel. That’s what goes on a lot on social media. And I feel like that’s the issue.

 

How Do You Feel Large Corporations Have Supported The Black Community And Do You Have Any Advice To A Brand About How They Can Do Better?

TC: I’d say for the companies who are supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, I think that it’s great. I think that it’s awesome. I think Ben and Jerry’s is a great example. Ben and Jerry’s put out a lot of great educational information. Other brands that I admire just shared a sentiment of “we stand with you”, and that’s it. Instead of truly taking some meaningful action to move forward. I think that doing a little bit more would be more impactful, however, showing any significant support is worthy. 

DC: I believe large corporations have responded to the Black Lives Matter movement in very interesting ways. A lot of people and companies have done it very differently. I personally have for YouTube, one of my YouTube videos about the Black Lives Matter movement that I brought up before YouTube actually asked to use my video and put it on their playlists for Black Lives Matter awareness. I thought that was super cool that YouTube was reaching out to their content creators, helping content creators have their page kind of expanded to a broader audience. This was helping black people, but then also educating allies at the same time which was a very unique way to conduct their campaign. For example, BandAid finally made nude brown band-aids for the brown skin tones. I definitely think that a lot of corporations were aware of what they needed to do, but just didn’t execute it in the best way.

DB: There’s a lot of backing right now financially, for sure, especially to get other things moving. I would just say, before corporations fork up money, because at the end of the day, it is a tax write off. Before they do that, they need to sit down and have an open dialogue with the people that they’re supporting in the day, so they can really understand the intricate details of what’s taking place and what’s going on in the community. What does the community need? I mean, you can just dump a ton of money on any situation, and it may or may not help it. For any companies or corporations that are looking into supporting that movement, have that dialogue and really sit down to have that dialogue. I don’t know what dialogue the NBA had with the BLM community. I’d be interested to hear about that, but obviously, they came to find some middle ground and this is the initiative that we want to push. We support this heavily. 

 

Did You Know One Of The Founding Members Of The BLM Movement Was A Black Queer Woman? How Can Communities Online And In Real-Life Support Black Trans Women?

tre clements smiling at camera

TC: As a black member in the community, I know, sometimes black people may not believe that all black lives matter. I think sometimes that may get lost, and especially with the black trans community. I think that the community online and in real life can support the black trans lives by first recognizing that they are human. They are people as well. And you have to recognize that first in order to take further steps. And then also just become educated; it’s really an education item. You have to become educated on topics you want to debate because you can’t just say things that you do not have an educated understanding of during a conversation. For example, ask a black trans individual, “what can I do to help support you?” and go from there.

SS: When Black Lives Matter What matters was started, I knew that it was created by a black queer woman, I think that unfortunately for our LGBTQ community, they’re kind of dissed by the black community. And I think that starts with what we are raised and what we are taught as black people. And I think that this is where my generation starts to have our kids, we need to stand up and be like, “Okay, I’m not teaching my kid that being gay is a bad thing. I’m not teaching my kid that like, being trans is a bad thing”. I’m going to raise my kids with awareness and knowledge. I think that’s the best thing that we can do right now. Unfortunately, what our parents and grandparents were taught was that all of these things were bad, and that’s why it only was made legal for anybody in that community to get married a couple years ago. I think it’s about growing, understanding, and teaching each other.

DB: I don’t think it’s right that we pick and choose who we want to support or who we think has an extreme level of importance. When you say, “Black Lives Matter”, that’s everyone, every gender and/or sexual preference. I don’t think you really get to pick and choose and that’s what’s keeping those still heavily divided. Why would you want to exclude that group? When everybody can come together, it makes us stronger. 

 

How Can Someone With A Limited Social Following Create Long-Lasting Positive Social Change And Grow Their Platform?

CH: A lot of people get online and try to act like somebody that they saw or that they like, which I think that’s a good start. Form your brand around the creators that you enjoy, but the most important thing is for you to be yourself and to be consistent. That’s definitely something that it took me a while to learn that consistency is the game  and consistency is key. Just be yourself, be consistent, and make sure you’re feeding your audience more than you’re asking for things.

SS: Someone who doesn’t have a lot of followers, I’ve actually been asked before, “How to get the message across when you feel like no one’s listening?”. She told me, “Someone’s always listening. Someone’s gonna see it, whether you feel like they’re gonna see it or not, and you have no idea if that message that you’re sharing will change them and or educate them”. You never know who’s watching. Continue to speak out, to educate. Put that information up, and somebody’s going to see it because I mean, I didn’t always have a ton of followers, but I still felt it was important to share the information and just be transparent.

j.r. rivera image

Give people a reason to come to your page. Whether you’re entertaining them, making them feel good about themselves, or you’re giving information those are the things that I think are super prominent on social media. And to be consistent. If people know that you’re going to post videos every Sunday, they know what they’re going to get, and they know they can come to you for that. So if you’re a person that’s been posting about black businesses for the last two and a half years and you have consistent content that is really good. It just matters when people actually catch up to what you’re doing. But you want to be ahead of the curve. And you definitely want to be a creator that is always creating things that are forward-thinking, and they’re also provoking people to want to learn more.

-J.R. Rivera

 

How Can Non-Black People Constructively Support The BLM Movement On Social Media And In Real-Life?

DC: I think that non-black people can support the Black Lives Matter movement both on social media and in real life by letting their actions speak louder than words. As I said before, posting a picture, texting somebody and saying, “hey, like, I love you, brother”. That’s not enough. You need to actually educate yourself. And even I had a friend text me and say, Hey, I watched these movies and read these books about Black Lives. I feel like I understand more of what you’re going through. And that was nice for me to hear. You need to actually do stuff off of social media, get educated, be more supportive of your black friends, and realize that we have it a little bit harder than you might have it and just acknowledge that and then figure out ways to improve.

SS: I think the best thing that a non-black person can do in terms of just supporting the entire movement is by education. And I keep saying education, but it’s just educating yourself and also knowing that you will never understand. But trying to support instead of understand. I think that that’s the best thing that they could do, or, yes, educate themselves. Ask questions, the appropriate questions.

DB: Everybody is super on edge, and prideful and in their thoughts. There’s a difference between the Black Lives Matter situation and All Lives Matter. And when you have to exemplify that so much and just amplify, you feel it overshadows what’s really taking place and or who the people are in need. I’m going back to being open. Everybody’s entitled to how they feel. This racist person, they feel how they feel and I’m not going to change that. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t have mutual respect at the end of the day. So I just think it goes back to having that open dialogue regardless of how you feel. Get off your high horse and not be so quiet at some point in time to be able to hear the opposing sides. 

 

How Do You Perceive Social Media Has Changed As A Result Of The BLM Movement?

CH: I think social media has changed a lot. It’s brought a lot of awareness and it’s got a lot of people out protesting, we’ve had some things change, still, everything has not changed. Everything has not been fixed. Breonna Taylor still hasn’t got justice. But we have had some other wins. We just have to keep going. I think the main thing, we just have to continue the fight and continue to make people aware of what’s going on for real. I feel like America definitely lives under this veil of the greatest country, but we’ve got some problems. I definitely think that the Black Lives Matter movement has helped so much and will continue to help. I do think the movement has changed the trajectory of where we’re going as a country and we just have to stay at it. We can’t let these things die down. We also can’t do so much talking. I feel like awareness is cool, but it’s definitely not enough. At the end of the day, we have to keep protesting. We have to keep voting. We have to keep doing all the things. There’s not one way. We have to do all the things that we can do to continue to fight for equality. And we will fight until we have equality, period. 

JR: I believe that social media is a place where people think a little bit more before they post or say certain things because they realized that the way that they were interacting on social media was not always reflective of including people such as black people.  I would also say that now social media is a place where people are actually voicing that they actually care about black lives. So I believe that it will forever be changed and it will forever be an ongoing conversation that pops up. When people are actually talking about things, especially if they put up anything during this Black Lives Matter. It’ll always be on their feed. So if you go to their page, you know, a year or two from now, if you scroll down or you meet someone for the first time, you can see if they’re actually a person that supported this cause and during this actual history. Were they a part of the process, were they supportive or not?

SS: Social media has changed in the sense that I see more black people on my feed, then I normally would come in from companies coming from photoshoots.I see a switch. I think it’s kind of partially because companies are thinking, “uh-oh, let me throw some black people on my cover”. Also, though, I do think that it did somewhat help to amplify black voices, but I do think that it’s losing momentum. Unfortunately, I think that it’s no longer, as a lot of people will say trending. 

 

Final Words

We would like to thank all of our Black creators for providing us with their insightful and thought-provoking responses. We hope that this blog post will provide our readers with some eye-opening experiences of which our creators have endured and continue to on a daily basis as a Black person. 

We would like to personally thank: 

Cameron Henderson – @cameronjhenderson

Sydney Stanford – @sydneyxstanford

J.R. Rivera – @_jrrivera

Domonique Cynthia – @domonique_cynthia 

Donnell Blaylock Jr. – @therealdonnysavage

Tre Clements – @treclements

Honorable mention to Matthew Burnside (@burny91_), Ray Ligaya (@rayligaya), Alexander Casucci (@alexandercasucci), and Madeleine Casucci (@madsisabella) for their assistance in curating this blog post!

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