6 Of The Most Inspirational Black Women On Instagram

Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
Instagram is a dynamic space that users can engage for a whole range of needs. It’s a social media platform that connects users to each other. It’s a branding and marketing tool. It’s an ecommerce vehicle. It’s an online photo album offering a uniquely curated look into the lives of some of our favorite people. Whatever your interests might be, you can most likely find stimulating visual aids in the form of an internet account.
Another perk of Instagram is that it's one of the more diverse social media platforms. People of color are flocking to their Instagram feed in masses to do more than ogle at their favorite celebrities and keep up with friends. They are often looking for news, dialogue, and a sense of community. Female entrepreneurs of color, whether they be beauty bloggers, urban models, or small business owners, have all been able to count on their community to show up with double taps and comments. That these women, or people like Angelica Nwandu — founder of @theshaderoom — are able to redefine their lives in the palm of their hands is inspiring enough on its own.
But there is a limitless supply of positivity on Instagram if you know where to look. So if you’re trying to orient your IG experience in that direction, these Black women are serving inspiration by the upload.
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Maxine Waters

Congresswoman Waters really needs no introduction. She is one of only 12 Black women currently serving in Congress. She is the shady auntie of our generation and a meme/GIF favorite. She’s just as dope on Instagram. Her progressive ideas about the current state of our country should be just the kick in the pants you need to stay engaged with politics.
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Chicago, I'll see y'all tomorrow at @andersonsbookshop in Naperville- 7pm! My yoga practice is more vital now than ever before. With all the locations/new people/truly frenetic pace of the #everybodyyoga tour, it would be so easy to succumb to the talking points, the smiles, and the pressure. I have immense respect for people who do this shit all the time and I am SO GLAD that this isn't my normal. I'm insanely lucky to be surrounded by people who want to show me love but I've gotta be honest- I'm not really capable of holding all of that love within my own spirit and body. So I end up spending most of my free time alone, with my yoga mat. If you've tried to kick it with me during this tour, please don't take it personally that I've been ducking you out. Trust me, I'm literally ducking everyone out. It's so fucking weird, dude- I don't seek the limelight & it's still very strange to me that strangers have access to these rambles and observations. And as much as my teaching practice and physical body are on display, I am not the imagery. I am still the same little fat femme as ever, trying to find her way on to the mat and trying to keep self-love alive on a daily basis. Yeah, this probably doesn't make a lick of sense to y'all. That's ok, too. Oh yeah, ICYMI- I wrote a book called "Every Body Yoga" and you can go to Jessamynstanley.com/book or click the link in my instagram header to buy a copy for you, your sister-in-law, and/or your cat lady coworker! 💋✌🏾️📕 Bodysuit by @weareivypark Photo by @justincookphoto

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Jessamyn Stanley

In America, yoga is yet another area that could use a diversity boost. But that did not stop Jessamyn from making room for herself in the practice. The yogi, who just wrote a new book, serves poses and body positivity to her followers on the regular.
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As an out, visible, black, transgender woman everyday is #TransDayOfVisibility for me. My blackness, transness and womanhood are political, social and historic realities. But my spirit, my soul, my humanity transcend these identity categories. As an artist I have always yearned for transcendence. Today I continue to do the spiritual work towards that transcendence. But the political, social and historic realities of the multiple identities I inhabit, continue to affect how I and people like me move through the world and access space and resources. In this context it becomes necessary, vital to celebrate ourselves and these socially constructed yet personally, politically and historically relevant identities we inhabit. Trans people are under attack perhaps now more than ever as we enjoy more visibility than we have ever known. So on this #transdayofvisibility #tdov2017 we celebrate trans folks, those who are visible, by circumstance and by choice. We celebrate and are visible for those who can not be. As we celebrate visibility we also acknowledge the limits of visibility. We acknowledge that trans folks experience violence disproportionately, that the past 3 years there have been more murders of trans folks than since we have been tracking trans homicides. We acknowledge that trans students are under attack in the United States. We #StandwithGavin Grimm and trans students like him across this nation fighting for dignity and equal access. We acknowledge that bills like HB2 and the bill masquerading as a repeal of that bill but is only more discrimination, are about erasing trans people from public life. We acknowledge that when we are excluded from being counted in census data this is another attempt to erase us. We acknowledge that when trans folks are misgendered and disavowed this is yet another attempt to stigmatize and erase us. We acknowledge that folks at the intersections of multiple identities being targeted must be lifted up. On this Trans Day of Visibility we reassert that we will not and cannot be erased. Happy #TransDayOfVisibility #TransIsBeautiful

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Laverne Cox

The Orange Is the New Black star slays on Instagram. Because she has been making moves in Hollywood, we get a good amount of celebrity selfies and glam. But it’s her frequent reminders about the need for intersectionality and trans-inclusivity that make her worth following. #TransIsBeaituful
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Chloe & Halle

You should be inspired by the mere knowledge that a couple of teenage girls can call themselves protégés of Beyoncé. The sibling duo regularly performs unique covers of pop culture hits and are celebrating the release of their mixtape, all under the tutelage of Queen Bey. But they’re also keenly aware of the need for social mobility and women’s empowerment.
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✨ things are looking up ✨ | #davidhammons 🔥: @jaejoseph

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Kimberly Drew

Sure, she is the social media manager for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. And yes, she started one of the most influential and widely followed Tumblr accounts on Black art. But I promise Kimberly Drew is not an art snob. Well, she might be. But she seems really nice on Instagram. If you’re in need of some creative juice, Drew has you covered.
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One of the voices behind The Friend Zone podcast, and the force behind the popular YouTube channel Hey Fran Hey, Francheska is a walking, breathing “how-to guide” for self-care, wellness, and natural living. You're likely to leave her account with tips on how to de-stress and a recipe for natural body wash.