In the wake of George Floyd’s death and the reignition of the Black Lives Matter movement, shockwaves continue to be sent through society. This cultural reset, though powerful and long overdue, may leave some people feeling drained and perhaps overwhelmed. When you feel this way, take a step back and take time to relax and decompress.
For me, this time is often spent scrolling through Instagram, replenishing my joy and creativity. I look through funny memes, fashion inspiration, motivational quotes, and catch up on the lives of my favorite celebrities and influencers. If you recuperate like me, you should remember to follow people that you find inspirational and remind you of the good in the world. Furthermore, if you are a black woman, you may want to follow people who inspire you, understand your struggles, and who you can relate to. This will ensure that even during the most chaotic of times you are reminded of the greatness that you can bring into this world. For this reason, I have compiled a list of some incredible and inspiring black women for you to follow on Instagram.
1. Marsai Martin
Marsai Martin is truly a shining star in Hollywood. She is not only an actor on the ABC television show Black-ish but the youngest black executive producer in history. If that wasn’t enough she was on the Fobers 30 Under 30 List. Additionally, she has goals to become the youngest billionaire in Hollywood. Marsai Martin is an inspiration because of her unwavering ambition, drive, and commitment to her craft. She’s also just absolutely adorable. Check her out, @marsaimartin on Insta.
Lizzo is a great person to add to your Insta feed as she is all about spreading body positivity. Take some advice from her, and remember to always love yourself the way you are. Her handle is @lizzobeeatin, go check out her account!
3. Rachel Lindsay
Rachel Lindsay was the first and only black Bachelorette since the franchise’s debut in 2002. Since then, she has proved to use her following in the best way possible, speaking out against many injustices in the world. Most recently, she has opened up about her experience on The Bachelor and as The Bachelorette, speaking out against the show’s obvious lack of diversity. Rachel is an incredible role model and someone you should be seeing as you scroll through your feed. Rachel’s Instagram is @therachlindsay.
4. Ava DuVernay
Ava DuVernay is both a filmmaker and director and if you don’t know who she is already, you should definitely check her out. Her award-winning documentary 13th is a must for anyone wishing to educate themselves on systematic racism. Ava DuVernay is a rising star and I know we’re going to continue seeing great things from her. She is an inspiring woman that you should definitely be adding to your Insta feed. Look her up, @ava.
5. Jackie Aina
Jackie Aina is most famous for her presence on Youtube, specializing in all things beauty related. I recommend checking out her Youtube channel as well as her Insta, @jackieaina, for some great content. Jackie has always been unapologetically herself and that is why we love her. She has paved the way for many black influencers in the industry and is an excellent role model and inspiration.
7. Zendaya Coleman
Zendaya Coleman is truly such an inspiring young black woman. Her Instagram is @zendaya and if you have never heard of her before, what rock have you been living under? Zendaya is an actress, dancer, singer, designer, and overall girl-boss. She is also known for advocating and fighting for equality and diversity. Her Insta is filled with enviable fashion and makeup looks, jaw-dropping modeling shots and so much more that is guaranteed to have you wanting to emulate her style and drive.
8. Makeba Lindsay
Makeba Lindsay, or @ynotkeeb on Instagram, is an influencer all about women empowerment, self-love, and positivity. She is a constant inspiration and light to all of her followers. Follow her and see for yourself.
9. Shelby Ivey Christie
Shelby Ivey Christie takes activism in a way I bet you’ve never seen before. Her motto is “woke, but make it fashion” as she dedicates herself to combining her two passions. Her username is @bronze_bombshel and she is just such a very cool person to add to your feed.
Rihanna truly does it all. Not only is she a musician but she owns two extremely successful brands focused on inclusion. Her makeup line, Fenty Beauty, was arguably the catalyst for many changes in the beauty industry and in beauty standards. Rihanna has also been deemed the world’s richest female musician. Though she doesn’t have an Instagram account I wanted to include her in this list as she is a female mogul you need to always keep up with as her tenacity is unmatched.
11. Mariya Russell
Mariya Russel became the first black woman to earn a Michelin Star this past September. This was the first star ever awarded to a black woman in the guide’s 93-year history! Follow her on her personal Instagram @mariyarussell, or check out her restaurant at @kikkochicago.
12. Allyson Felix
Allyson Felix is an incredible athlete, holding nine Olympic medals, six of them being gold. Though this is an insane accomplishment, that’s not why I included her on this list. Allyson was previously sponsored by Nike, but after she got pregnant and gave birth they gave her a 70% pay cut. She exposed the poor treatment she endured and fought for maternity rights and protections. Allyson is a strong woman ready to use her platform to fight for other women, making her truly an inspiration.
13. Myleik Teele
Myleik Teele, or on Instagram @myleik, is the founder and CEO of Curlbox. Curlbox is the first-ever monthly subscription service for naturally curly hair. She is a leader, innovator, and overall a well-rounded and inspiring individual.
14. Tarana Burke
Tarana Burke is the founder of the #MeToo movement. Need I even continue? She is @taranajaneen on Insta if you want to see more.
15. Misty Copeland
Misty Copeland is far more than another ballet prodigy, she is also the first black woman to be the American Ballet Theatre’s principal dancer. She has been with the American Ballet since and will continue this year. She will also be speaking at the Black Enterprise’s 2020 Women of Power Summit. Misty is an incredible woman and if you choose to follow and her Instagram, you will be blessed with beautiful videos of her dancing. Check her out, @mistyonpointe.