In July, I started working as a social media coordinator and my consumption of media increased tenfold. The long and short is that every day I get to create, curate, and schedule social content for our funky, fun, out of the box clients. Quite frankly, it's an incredible job. But what I've realized is that after being on social all day, I now log on to my personal accounts a lot less frequently. I went from spending at least an hour a day on Instagram, to only checking-in for 10 minutes or so in the evening. Definitely not a bad change in habit, but noticeable for sure.
And something I've also realized is that I absolutely, 100% have favorite accounts, which all have something in common: they're run by creative, badass, free spirited black women. These women inspire me to live as my most authentic, honest, and free self. Whenever I need to be creatively rejuvenated, I check-in on these accounts and immediately feel inspired. So now I'm sharing them with you! And if you have suggestions on other accounts to follow, please let me know in the comments below!
The Artists & Activists
Amber is a young, black woman farmer and nature-based educator, originating from Brooklyn, NY. As described on her website, Amber works to "guide communities, especially low income and communities of color, to grow food and empower the youth through direct engagement with the earth." I love Amber's Instagram for the way the ways in which she authentically captures her life, both the highs and lows, and lives with intention. Amber heavily influenced my decision to start a garden this summer, and after following her Instagram, I've started to think deeply about where food comes from + how we can uplift our communities through food education.
I've followed Jay on Instagram (and before that, Tumblr) for years, and have always admired her ability to remain vulnerable and embrace the many nuances of being a black woman in the U.S. Her work "explores collective trauma and the dehumanization of Black folks in the U.S. using the vehicles of science fiction, dystopic/utopic narratives, and Black joy." Jay's work asks you to ask yourself difficult questions. In the many times that I've felt consumed by pain when hearing of another Black person's murder at the hands of the police, I turned to Jay's work: it expressed my feelings when I didn't have the words.
Shenel is a photographer based in Brooklyn, NYC, and one of my really good friends. Her work explores the beauty and magic of blackness in its every day, authentic moments. All of her photos contain so much depth and feeling; they leave me wanting to know the story behind the moment captured. I also love that Shenel doesn't limit herself to one format or one type of photo - her work ranges from film to digital, portraiture to candids, and everything in between.
Dara is one of the most inspiring people I follow. She's multi-talented (she's a photographer, videographer, and coder with great taste in music & clothes) and a truly humble person. For me, sometimes bloggers/influencers don't feel approachable and/or their lives seem far-fetched, but Dara lives her life authentically - she works hard, is the best she can be, and remains in touch with God. Just witnessing her via Instagram or on her blog encourages me to try and do the same.
On top of being an incredible stylist, mother, and blogger, Latonya has a defined and powerful writing voice, and everything she posts is so beautifully phrased and well thought-out that it always moves me. When I first moved to NYC, I reached out to her to see if she was available to connect, and while she wasn't, her response was so gracious and warm that it made me love her blog all the more. I feel like it's truly representative of who she is as a person. After following Latonya, I've learned to better appreciate vulnerability, self reflection, and self care.
The Free Spirits
Shannon and I met at a Black Girl Magik event and remained in touch ever since. She's truly the definition of a free spirit. She's an incredibly introspective person, and I've always felt inspired by the way that she is dedicated to learning the ins and outs of herself and growing into a strong and secure person. Shannon reminds me that it's okay to be vulnerable, and that the more I learn of myself and know of myself, the better I will be. You can read a blog post in. which I interviewed Shannon, here.
Roe of Brown Kids
Brownkids is one of my favorite Instagram accounts of all time. It's run by Roe and her partner, E, and shows us their journey to live a vegan lifestyle, participate in minimalism, and enjoy simplicity. Roe is truly a phenomenal woman. The way she writes is so warm and inviting, and her dedication to minimalism and living consciously is super inspiring. She was recently on the "hey, girl podcast" and I definitely think it's worth a listen - you can listen here. (It's episode 6).
Patrice Jackson is super cool. I could leave it there, but she's also one of the sweetest people I know, has an incredible fashion sense, and always thinks outside of the box when it comes to style and how she represents herself. Both she and Shannon have an online vintage shop, Soft Wild, where they model, shoot, and curate the Instagram/online store, on top of finding incredible pieces. I always feel so creatively inspired by Patrice and almost every time I see a photo of her, I immediately think, "Ah, that's SO cool!" so clearly she's doing something right!
So tell me: who on this list will you be following? x