Selena Gomez has been letting some other people do the talking on her Instagram this week in order to teach about the work of black activists and history of systemic racism.
After earlier ceding the stage to Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza, New Yorker writer and Columbia University professor Jelani Cobb and Harvard University African & African American Studies professor Sarah Elizabeth Lewis, among others, on Wednesday (June 10) Gomez passed the mic to activist and rapper Killer Mike.
“Right now, a lot of people are asking what they can do,” Mike said in the first of a series of posts in Selena’s Instagram Stories. “How they can make a difference. I always say start local. Support local candidates and support grassroots groups in your community.”
In another post featuring a shot of a billboard he bought in his native Atlanta to remind people to vote this week, Mike added, “I appreciate protest and demonstrations. Beyond that, one of the most important things you can do to improve your community is to plot, plan, strategize, organize and mobilize.”
Mike (born Michael Render) went on to admit that he feels sadness, misery, hopelessness and the same feelings that basically “every black person feels in their gut.” The key, he said, it to keep being honest about those feelings and sharing them. One way to improve your community is to get the resources, and Mike urges, fill out the census. “I have solidarity with people who look like me and people who understand the struggle and are trying to make a difference,” he said.
The MC also noted that with their acclaimed latest album, RTJ4, Run the Jewels have created something timeless, a collection of hard-hitting songs that “speaks to where we are, where we have been and where we’d like to go.”
Check out Selena’s Insta feed to see Mike’s stories.
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Please meet Michael Render, professionally known as Killer Mike (@killermike). He is an activist, Grammy Award-winning rapper, one half of the rap duo Run the Jewels, and host of the Netflix series, “Trigger Warning with Killer Mike.” He and his wife, Shana, own the SWAG Shop barbershops in Atlanta. He is also co-owner, with Tip ‘T.I.’ Harris and Noel Khalil, of the historic Bankhead Seafood restaurant in Atlanta. He began organizing when he was 15, and was actually an organizer before he was a rapper. Today, Killer Mike’s taking over my Instagram!