The Brief: Many social media accounts run by white people and non-Black People Of Color are participating in a week-long "muted" challenge to amplify the voices of Black creators, using the hashtags #AmplifyMelanatedVoices and #MuteTheWhiteNoise.
The #AmplifyMelanatedVoices challenge started on Instagram, organized by Alishia McCullough (@blackandembodied) and Jessica Wilson (@jessicawilson.msrd). This social media campaign calls for non-Black social media users to refrain from posting their own content for the week of June 1st-7th and to share content from Black creators and creators of color instead. The challenge also urges people to mute white content creators and to think critically about how their own social media usage may center around white people.
The muted social media challenge started on Instagram and has since spread to TikTok and Twitter as well. At the time of writing, over 4,000 Instagram posts have been tagged with the hashtag #AmplifyMelanatedVoices. This movement began one week after George Floyd, an unarmed Black man was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. Since then, protests and uprisings have erupted across the United States to demand justice for George Floyd and calling for an end to police violence.
As social media users react to these current events with signs of solidarity and calls for justice, the #AmplifyMelanatedVoices movement gives space for white creators to step out of the spotlight, amplifying the voices of Black creators and highlighting some of the racial bias that is prevalent on social media. In addition to refraining from posting their usual content for the week, participants in this challenge are sharing accounts and resources for their followers to fill their feeds with information from Black creators and activists and to donate funds to organizations focusing on racial justice.
Bloggers, influencers, companies, and individuals are participating in this online campaign to uplift the voices of Black creators and to support the Black Lives Matter Movement. Similar to the #ImBlack movement on TikTok, #AmplifyMelanatedVoices seeks to disrupt the usual flow of social media feeds to create space for Black creators and other creators of color to be heard. It also highlights the ways in which social media censorship and algorithms often sideline content from people of color.
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I will be muting my content from June 1st-June 7th to participate in the #amplifymelanatedvoices movement created by @blackandembodied and @jessicawilson.msrd so that access to the voices that truly matter right now is more direct. On stories, I'll be using my space solely to re-post the messages and educational resources from BIPOC as a prompt to act, contribute $, and to crucially educate ourselves further. Perhaps this is obvious, but for my white followers: any educational resources presented and shared are for your own pursuit and follow-through i.e. please refrain from DM'ing the accounts of BIPOC for advice on how to navigate the hard questions that are coming up. It is our work to do! #mutethewhitenoise
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I will not be posting on my feed for the next seven days in order to amplify Black voices on Instagram. This movement was created by @blackandembodied and @jessicawilson.msrd and I see such value in it. I find it impossible to be ‘business as usual’ this week. It’s not sitting well with me to share my usual content. I am educating myself on racial trauma and seeking to understand my white privilege and fragility and I want to share what I’ve learned. BUT while I seek to educate myself and others, I am acutely aware that I am turning to books, resources and experiences from people of colour to educate myself. When I share it in my own words I put my own white-perspective on the voices of others. We shouldn’t need a re-explanation of racial issues from a white therapist. I don’t need to white-splain racial trauma when Black voices can tell you directly. So I am silencing myself. I am taking some time to work through this process. It’s impossible for me to know how to navigate it until I experience silencing myself and letting others speak. Assuming that I have the ‘right’ to be part of this conversation is my privilege at play and I want to take this ‘right’ away and not centre myself in this conversation. I take responsibility, and sometimes taking responsibility means listening first. I will share the content and voices of black people and non-black people of colour in my Stories. Please follow the creators. I will also seek to highlight the issue of racism in the UK and to share the work of UK activists and therapists. I think it’s all to easy for us to dismiss this as a US-centric issue, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Here are some accounts I will be learning from. I will continue adding to these as I learn and expand my influencers. @seerutkchawla @thisisyolandarenteria @realtalk.therapist @nedratawwab @rachel.cargle @munroebergdorf @josierosarionyc @michaelunbroken @blackandembodied @jessicawilson.msrd Added: @renieddolodge @ohhappydani @therapyforblackgirls @jadebentil @amaris_sela Lee x
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I will not be posting my own content from June 1st to June 7th in order to #amplifymelanatedvoices created by @jessicawilson.msrd & @blackandembodied to share and amplify the voices of Black people, creators, activists, healers and change makers. We are silencing our feed to create space for Black, Indigenous & People of Color to Share their stories, art, and inspiring work on this platform. If you love, or are a Black creator or POC and would like to share your mental health, wellness, spiritually or healing page in the comments you are invited to do so. Some Black, Indigenous and People of Color who you can follow and engage with (more tags in the comments) @rachel.cargle. @lovelandfoundation @tiffanydloftin @nedratawwab @lalahdelia @alex_elle @koyawebb @tracee_stanley @dr.thema @ohhappydani @lylajune @nataliegutierrezlmft @dr.marielbuque @blackandembodied @decolonizingtherapy @drtiffanylester @loveoffering @ijeomaoluo We are in this together. Sending so much love.