Social media platforms have taken on a huge responsibility in regards to advocating and spreading awareness around the Black Lives Matter movement. But let’s face the facts, you can’t simply post a black square on your Instagram feed and then keep quiet.
High ranking celebs have taken protesting and advocating to an entirely new level, using their platforms to stand up for those who need it most right now.
Can we give this dude a round of applause? Not only did he storm the streets of L.A. to protest for Black Lives Matter along with thousands of others, he got arrested with many others in the process. To keep the momentum going, he also took to Instagram to post about his experience and thoughts of the fiasco. “Them [celebrities] utilizing their platforms is a great way for more people to see that this is a real issue and by seeing their favorite celebrity posting about it, it may make them want to support the BLM movement as well,” University of Iowa freshman Lucy Japsen said. “They could also start supporting black creators and business owners because if their fans see them supporting these businesses, it would make them want to choose to do so too,” Japsen said. What makes Sprouse’s part-taking in the fight for racial justice even better off of social media pages? After being arrested and released, he went back out to the streets to continue protesting and demanding change for BIPOC. Boom.
Leave it to T. Swift not to hesitate to call out the President of the United States. After Trump tweeted an insensitive message pertaining to calling those protesting “thugs” Swift took to Twitter to clear some things up with Mr. President, stating “We will vote you out in November. @realdonaldtrump.” I guess when you threaten more violence among those fighting for race rights then T. Swift plans to come at you. “They [celebrities] have inspired me to advocate for this movement because it has made me want to sign petitions and see these necessary changes happen,” Japsen said. “They have also inspired me to share various things on social media as an act of solidarity. It’s my way of saying, ‘I stand with you. I hear you, and I see that change needs to happen.’” Celebs’ higher status has surely gained the attention of millions across the globe to band together and fight for the injustices many face. T. Swift’s tweet is just one example. Her tweet gained so much traction that it became her most-liked tweet to date. Along with advocating on all of her social media platforms, Swift has also been donating and signing petitions, one petition is specific for the removal of racist statues in her home state of Tennessee.
Cara Delevigne and Kaia Gerber
While protestors rallied together in Minnesota, Delevigne and model friend Kaia Gerber took the streets of L.A. to join in protesting at the Los Angeles City Hall. Among hundreds of other protestors, the pair linked arms and joined in the chants and wore face masks. She didn’t stop there either. Cara also protested in Hollywood alongside Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Barker. “I appreciate seeing celebrities use their platforms to promote positive social change. Because celebrities have such great influence over large numbers of people, they possess the power and resources to take immense strides in this journey towards racial equality,” University of Iowa freshman Sophia Rupert said. Their presence on the streets and over their social media platforms together will create a stronger sense of purpose to help those who need it. “Whenever I see a post or story on Instagram, it reminds me of the ongoing battle before us today and my personal desire to help,” Rupert said. “Raising awareness is crucial in this movement, so I believe every celebrity can use their platform to invoke action in their fans.” And as long as they continue to do so even after the popular rise of the movement slows, they will continually remind their platforms of these social injustices and that they are still at large.
Aniston didn’t hesitate to whip out her checkbook when the protests and awareness struck following the death of George Floyd. She donated one million dollars to the racial justice charity, Black Lives Matter. Beyond that, she posts on Instagram about the tragedies of these racial injustices and advocating for change stating in one of her posts, “As allies, who want equality and peace, it’s our responsibility to make noise, to demand justice, to educate ourselves on these issues, and more than anything, to spread love.” Aniston stands with the movement and makes it a priority to do more than just write a big check. “Beyond monetary contributions, time and resources must reinforce their dedication to these causes, as well as a commitment to change and the progress towards a better future,” Rupert said. Along with the financial backings, stars must be diligent about continuously educating themselves so that they can help educate others on these issues through words and actions.
Following his celebrated Netflix documentary on his legacy, Michael Jordan spoke out regarding the reoccurring racial injustices. Jordan has spoken out on the issues and heartbreak surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement. He also dropped some serious bucks saying he will donate 100 million dollars over the next 10 years to Black Lives Matter causes. M.J. took the equal road and stood up for Black people and their safety, but also police officers who truly do their job that they receive respect and support by all. Specifically, right now, he’s donated one million dollars to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Institute for Community-Police Relations. “With them [celebrities] showing that they don’t sit high above the problem of racial injustice, it creates common ground between us and the ones we idolize,” St. Louis University sophomore Luke Schaefer said. “It brings people together for a common cause: equality.” No matter where you are in the world, starlets and professional athletes alike hold great power in society and can propel movements like BLM forward even after the dust has settled.
Chrissy Teigan and John Legend
As if they weren’t already an iconic couple, now the pair has made some noise advocating and donating to the Black Lives Matter movement. What really made a splash along with their donations? Teigan’s savage, ~mic drop~ worthy tweets about their donations to bail protestors out of jail. The couple originally donated $100,000 to bail out protestors in Minneapolis but after a Twitter troll made a snide comment Teigan responded, “Ooo they might need more money then. Make it $200,000.” CLAP. BACK.
For a bit, he kept quiet on the matter at hand, but after Alton Sterling was killed by Baton Rouge police officers, Drake had enough. He took to Instagram to write a lengthy post about his thoughts and feelings on the situations taking place. “This is real and I’m concerned. Concerned for the safety of my family, my friends and any human being that could fall victim to this pattern. I do not know the answer. But I believe things can change for the better. Open and honest dialogue is the first step,” he said in part of his post. Drake went on to donate $10,000 to National Bail Out for protestors being arrested. Not everyone has the loose change that Drake does, but even small donations to help these protestors makes a difference. “I think they [celebrities] are doing an excellent job of supporting BLM without overstepping their boundaries,” Schaefer said. “They motivate the ‘average joe’ to take part in BLM (protesting, donating, and petitioning) because they stand in solidarity with us.” Racial injustice issues can be a hard topic to discuss without saying the wrong thing or coming off insensitive, but as long as you make it clear that you are supportive and want to advocate for change you are taking steps in the right direction.
Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively
Couple goals, family goals, and now advocate goals? Reynolds and Lively got real in their statement about the racial injustices taking place. “We’re ashamed that in the past, we’ve allowed ourselves to be uninformed about how deeply rooted systematic racism is,” they posted on Instagram. They informed listeners that they plan to raise their children to not feed into the pattern, intentional or unintentional. After Lively’s lengthy Insta post, the couple also stated that they donated $200,000 to the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund and encouraged others to donate as well. While many celebrities and professional athletes have been using their platforms to speak out about donating, protesting and advocating, you don’t need a blue checkmark to make a difference. Here are some organizations you can donate to and petitions you can sign.