Selena Gomez Thanks "Inspiring" Black Leaders After Instagram Takeover

In the past two weeks, Selena Gomez has stepped down from her Instagram account and has decided that a dozen black thought leaders, authors, civil rights activists, historians and more will use their platform to exchange knowledge and advice. With over 180 million followers, it was a huge stage for each of the speakers and yesterday Gomez thanked them for their time. Each of the conversations is still available through Gomez's Instagram Story Highlights, so followers who missed a favorite or want to watch again can access it at any time.
"I want to thank all of the amazing people who took the time to speak to us directly," wrote Gomez. "I am overwhelmed by your knowledge, your willingness to teach and your commitment to not silencing black voices. Enlightenment is the first step if we hope to make progress in ending systemic racism. As much as you would like to believe "Things have gotten better, we can no longer deny that they didn't."
Tibrina Hobson / Stringer
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The people on Gomez's account were Alicia Garza, one of the co-creators of Black Lives Matter; Writer, author and professor Jelani Cobb; Kendrick Sampson, actor and activist; Kimberlé Crenshaw, civil rights activist, lawyer and professor; Sarah Elizabeth Lewis, author and professor; Ibram X. Kendi, a historian of racism and author; Grammy award-winning rapper and activist Michael Render (better known as Killer Mike); Nelini Stamp, the strategy director for working families; Raquel Willis, activist and media strategist; Ruby Bridges, a civil rights activist and author; Educator Brittany Packnett Cunnigham; and Stacey Abrams, the first black woman to be named governor of a major party in the United States.
"We have to acknowledge that social, political and economic discrimination against black communities continues," continued Gomez. "There is a deep pain that needs to be cured. If this is not recognized, history will repeat itself over and over again."
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Gomez also asked her followers to learn about Juneteenth, the day that marked the end of slavery and the independence of enslaved people, two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the declaration of emancipation. Gomez urged her followers to "take the day to talk with your family and friends about the importance of Black Lives Matter and how we all need to work together to ensure equality and justice." She went on to tell her fans to vote: "Everyone has to hear their voices, and we can do that through VOTE."
"I don't lose how happy I am to have this platform and appreciate you all for taking the time, the powerful messages and information that have been available to us from some of the most inspiring in the past two weeks to be seen, listened to and received people I have met in my life, "she finished. "If you've missed one of these incredible IG stories, they'll all be saved in my story highlights under #BLM and # BLM2. This is just the beginning and we will continue to hear from other black voices and other marginalized communities that I am committed to I hope you join me. "

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