Gwyneth Paltrow, Hillary among white influencers sharing their platforms to amplify black voices

Per Yahoo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kourtney Kardashian and Hillary Clinton are among a group of over 50 white women who handed their platforms to black influencers, activists, athletes and writers on Wednesday as part of the #ShareTheMicNow initiative aimed at amplifying the voices of black women.

 

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When the world listens to women, it listens to white women. For far too long, Black women’s voices have gone unheard, even though they’ve been using their voices loudly for centuries to enact change. Today, more than ever, it is NECESSARY that we create a unifying action to center Black women’s lives, stories, and calls to action. We need to listen to Black women. This is why we created #ShareTheMicNow. Tomorrow, Black women will speak from the Instagram accounts of white women. The intention of this campaign is to magnify Black women and the important work that they’re doing in order to catalyze the change that will only come when we truly hear each other’s voices.

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The movement, announced on Tuesday, is a project co-created by Bozoma Saint John, Luvvie Ajayi Jones, Glennon Doyle and Stacey Bendet — all entrepreneurial women who work across different industries that rely heavily on digital spaces.

Amid conversations surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement and racial injustice plaguing the country, they collectively decided to use those spaces to allow black women to tap into the power of the platforms that their white allies hold. In order to do so, each white woman involved in the project was paired with an influential black woman who would use the former’s Instagram account to share their own work, spread their message and educate followers who aren’t their own of their experiences as a black woman in America. Naturally, the conversations taking place are powerful and emotional.

“I know I’m talking to a whole bunch of white people that have never seen me before and are probably like, ‘Who is this black girl and what is she talking about?’” Julee Wilson, beauty director at Cosmopolitan, shared on Alice + Olivia founder Bendet’s page. “But that’s what this #ShareTheMicNow initiative was all about.”

Through sharing her work as a storyteller in the beauty and fashion industries, Wilson was able to convey both her triumphs and tribulations. While sharing the mic, she even said, “I do fantasize about what my life would be like if I wasn’t a black woman in the spaces that I’m in. I don’t know. Maybe my life wouldn’t be great.”

Other black women shared similar sentiments.

Stephanie Thomas, a disability fashion stylist and the founder of Cur8able, spoke to her unique struggles in the fashion space while taking over Selma Blair’s Instagram. “I’m a solopreneur,” Thomas said, referring to the lack of support and resources she had to build her company. “I’m not trying to convince you that I’m valuable. I just want equity. I want access.”