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9 Instagram Pages Building Positive Communities For Black Women

Check out these positive and impactful online communities empowering WOC everywhere.

Life & Travel

During this time of social distancing, we turn to social media for uplifting messages and motivation as a means of connection and empowerment. On Instagram, with the help of our Explore page, we discover new pages to follow and people to connect with on mutual interests, coordinated color schemes and clever captions. Check out these Instagram accounts below that are building positive and powerful online communities for women of color in fashion, media, mental health and more!

@KicksAndFros

Chief Kicks Officer Melissa Cantey is creating the perfect online community for women like myself who love urban streetwear and melanated skin. "My purpose for starting the Kicks & Fros Instagram page was because I wanted to inspire. I'm able to show women and girls around the world that they can be bosses and comfortable, too!" the CKO tells xoNecole. "This platform has women rocking two things—beautiful, creative sneakers and their beautiful, natural fros. It's taken us women a while to feel comfortable in both of those things. But now that we are, there's no stopping us. I'm committed to highlighting it as much as I can. It's an incredible thing to see; women are truly the dopest!"

"My mission is to empower, elevate, and educate," Cantey continues. "Women are feeling more comfortable taking risks with both their sneakers and natural hair. I want to empower more women to keep taking those risks by showing how fun it is to express ourselves with our hair and sneaker selection, and educate women who think sneakers aren't for them. We ALL have a sneaker style, so I help them find it. Kicks bring so much versatility to our personal style, and we can all rock them."

@CoolAssBlackWoman

Ashley Glaspie has created a safe space for melanation to live and breathe mental health and wellness while being authentically and unapologetically themselves. "I couldn't find a positive Instagram page/outlet that really fed my soul as a black Woman and nothing I could really identify with. I started #CoolAssBlackWoman because it was something that I could relate to and I knew there were other women like me who needed a support system," Glaspie shares about her purpose for founding the Instagram page.

"#CoolAssBlackWoman is a safe space for black women to be vulnerable. A space that welcomes the mental growth and wellness of black women. We knew the Instagram page would help spread self-awareness and self-care at the consumer's fingertips," Ashley continues about her passion for Black women. "A few ways we engage with the cool ass Black women on the @CoolAssBlackWoman Instagram page are through self-care challenges, the #CoolAssBlackWoman podcast and virtual conversations to stay connected during our new normal."

@BrownGyrlSocial

Brown Gyrl Social is the brainchild of Tola L. inspired by the interaction and engagement of the Gyrl Wonder audience. "A lot of women who didn't fall into the Gyrl Wonder age range saw the work that we were doing for young women and asked about a community for the 25 and up crew," Head Gyrl in Charge Tola shares about BGS. "From those inquiries, the Brown Gyrl Social brand was created for women of color who are well into their professional careers and are looking for an authentic, inclusive community and support system."

On the mission of her new social platform baby, Tola L. states, "Brown Gyrl Social is a community of black and brown women creating and reserving space for one another, sharing resources for success. Through cultural impetus, authentic connections, and transformative conversations Brown Gyrl Social centralizes overall wellness, financial literacy and professional development."

@TransparentBlackGirl

Transparent Black Girl was founded by entrepreneur, writer and wellness advocate Yasmine Jameelah with the intention of being a wellness company shattering unconventional stigmas around what it means to be well for Black women across the diaspora. "Since our inception, we've grown to include Transparent Black Guy, which speaks to wellness for Black men," shares the xoNecole contributor about her male-centric platform. "Through our social media content and events, we create spaces for our community to heal in an environment where they are the priority."

@KnowTheZodiac

I don't know about y'all, but since COVID, I've been getting on the up-and-up about my zodiac sign and quite frankly, I'm learning more and more about myself as a Sagittarius everyday. Thanks to one Instagram page specifically catered to astrological knowledge for Black people, founder and CEO of @ScorpioMystique and @KnowTheZodiac Dossé-Via Trenou have created engaging, shareable content for all to behold about emotions, habits and quirks of each sign. On the commencement of her purpose, Trenou shares, "I began KnowTheZodiac's Instagram page due to my passion for astrology and spirituality that I wanted to share with the world, particularly with black people seeking an astrology platform where they felt seen, valued and recognized."

Dossé-Via is not shy about her passion and wants to share it with her people to have access to the knowledge they crave about spirituality, astrology and alignment. "Astrology, like most forms of spirituality, originated in the Motherland. OG astrologers were African women who tracked their menstrual cycles based on the phases of the moon. Our rich history as interpreters of cosmic patterns shouldn't be erased, but rather amplified, and KnowTheZodiac aims to do that," she adds, dropping knowledge. "Our team of astrologers are all women of color, and the media we use on our pages highlights the magic and melanin that exists within our community. Astrology is about getting to the root of who one is, and KnowTheZodiac's mission serves as a clear reminder that black women are the source from which life is derived."

@GrownAssBlackWoman

Founder and lead editor Narcisse Burchell is a woman of many hats, talents and sophistications - including the brains and beauty behind @GrownAssBlackWoman, where Black women who are #GROWNAF can engage in grown folk business while leaving the children to play out-back. "I created Grown Ass Black Woman after being stood up by all of my 'homegirls' for my bachelorette party and a long and lonely battle with depression. I needed to meet and bond with some real and ride or die women. I knew that I wasn't the only woman who needed to feel like she mattered," she shares with xoNecole.

"GABW was born to the multifaceted Proverbs 31 woman who enjoys taco Tuesdays, trap music and the occasional midnight jigga train to Georgia. Women want and need to be heard. Even more importantly, listened to. Without judgment. Without shame. We needed love. We needed laughter. We needed acceptance. We needed a space to snatch off our wigs after a long day of being Superwoman but still grow...together."

On her mission and engagement on her growing Instagram community, Narcisse says, "Life is hard and the answers we're seeking aren't always available in that group text of 4-5 friends who've never dealt with what we're going through. Grown Ass Black Woman provides a pool of passion-filled women from all ages and walks of life to weigh in, inspire and support in a space that encourages authenticity, vulnerability and transparency. Our experiences connect us to each other, our stories empower the next and this is where your voice gets heard."

@EpicFabGirl

For the dope Christian baddie looking to connect with other like-minded spirits, build profitable brands and grow their faith, then Epic Fab Girl is the online community for you! "We started Epic Fab Girl's Instagram after launching our blog in 2016 with a goal to be a community to help Christian women fearlessly pursue their purpose," founder and CEO Candace Junée shares.

"Epic Fab Girl's platform is made for Go-Getters - a place where faith and entrepreneurship collide for the modern-day Christian woman. We encourage our community to have a relationship with God over religion, while never forgetting that we are not 'self-made' entrepreneurs, rather we are building profitable brands with the help of a supportive community of women and God by our side," Junée continues to clarify about the mission and vision of how the brand engages with dope women of color. "We provide our community with the tools to build profitable brands, grow their faith, and connect with other women through our initiatives such as our annual Go-Getter Conference and the Go-Getter Confidential Virtual Summit."

@TheQueenSessions

What do you get when you take a woman who is passionate about the sociopolitical state of women of color and a social media handle? You get Autumn Myers, the founder and editor-in-chief of The Queen Sessions. As the former lead writer and current digital lead for America Hates US, Autumn gave birth to @TheQueenSessions through her love of content creation and media strategy to empower women of color. "I recognized that we want to go to a place that genuinely makes us feel good and inspired. So, once I started showcasing inspiring clips, memes, and women we aspire to be - some of who don't receive enough shine - I noticed a shift in interest which, overall, I love. To continually drop gems and highlight WOC who are impacting the world with their gifts," tells Autumn.

The editor-in-chief concludes, "We are now working on producing digital segments where we interview different queens and provide self-growth tips. Overall, the platform is growing and designed to impact women of color to reach their goals and feel heard."

@GirlsWhoListen

Instagram provides a really unique platform for brands like Girls Who Listen (GWL), founded by CEO Kadijat Salawudeen, to build an authentic fanbase. Girls Who Listen is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting female creators in the entertainment space that hosts a series of events such as panels, mingling mixers, songwriting sessions, and compile an internal networking database for upcoming artists and media professionals who aim to learn more about entertainment industries.

"GWL is actually an extension of Industry News Magazine (INM), a digital platform for keeping up with the latest music, news and fashion trends," tells Kadijat. "It wasn't enough for my team and I to feature local up-and-coming creatives, we felt it was necessary to curate this tight knit community for the ladies - sorry boys." GWL is actively engaging with dope women of color by partnering with brands that align with their mission and hosting giveaways and contests. "We also began curating a weekly Instagram series called '#LockedIn.' For the first two weeks we were able to feature Music Choice video producer Chazeen and Rebekah Espinosa (°1824 Director at Universal Music Group). Weekly, viewers can engage with our featured guests and really tap into their expertise as executives and creatives."

Featured image by Shutterstock

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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