The winds of change have been blowing for a very long time in Hollywood, with industry professionals and fans alike voicing their concerns about the lack of representation and opportunities for BIPOC in entertainment. Black women have been some of the most vocal advocates for change in the industry, speaking out about the way our careers have been uniquely (and often detrimentally) affected by the fact that our identities sit at the intersection of race and gender. That intersection often results in the plight and complaints of Black women being largely ignored, but if #ShareTheMicNow has its way, they will never be silenced again.
#ShareTheMicNow is a new initiative aimed at amplifying the voices of Black women through partnership with some of the most popular white celebrities in the entertainment space. Ideated by Bozoma Saint John, Luvvie Ajayi Jones, Glennon Doyle, and Stacey Bendet, the social media campaign will be marked by Black women sharing their nuanced experiences on the Instagram accounts of white women in Hollywood.
Composed of almost 100 women from across the Hollywood, the lineup for #ShareTheMicNow is beyond impressive. The aforementioned planners will take part in the initiative, and they'll be joined by the likes of Angelica Ross, Ashley Judd, Elaine Welteroth, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kahlana Barfield Brown, Julia Roberts, Tarana Burke, Kourtney Kardashian, and more.
In a world where Black narratives are often belittled, manipulated, or even wholly ignored, #ShareTheMicNow seeks to open up room for Black women to tell their own stories by giving them the floor, courtesy of the platforms of white women. Rather than empty platitudes or misappropriated black squares across social media, the initiative centers the experience of Black women in hopes of inspiring radical systemic change throughout the entertainment industry — and the world at large.
The campaign has three distinct intentions: 1) To form a social media campaign that magnifies Black women’s lives and stories, 2) to form relationships among Black women and white women - so that our future activism is born from relationships, 3) to create a network of disruptors who know and trust each other, and 4) to create action that could make change.
"When the world listens to women, it listens to white women," explained the creators of the movement in an official statement. "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," wrote its founders. "We need to listen to Black women."
#ShareTheMicNow officially launches June 10 on Instagram.