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Mykki Blanco
Mykki Blancovia instagram.com/_mykki_

The POC musicians using Instagram to challenge injustice

‘Yes I am a feminist with a black dick who says bitch’

It’s hard to deny that social media has played no small part in changing the world. Whether it’s kick-starting the #BlackLivesMatter movement, calling for better diversity in fashion, or challenging narrow and damaging views on body image, the internet has cultivated a generation of outspoken, politicised individuals who are utilising their voices to elicit change. Following on from this, social media offers a much-needed antidote to a society that often whitewashes history, and where the mainstream media is still largely dominated by white, cis-gendered menInstagram, particularly, can reach a large audience with a single image and public personas are using their accounts more and more to challenge injustice and champion equality. With that in mind, here are just a few of our favourite Instagram accounts from famous musicians of colour who post more than (just) selfies.

MYKKI BLANCO (@_MYKKI_)

“Yes I am a feminist with a black dick who says bitch”, Mykki Blanco posted on her Instagram earlier this year, and we couldn't think of a more perfect sentence to describe her. The punk rapper from NYC has never shied away from using her social media channels (and her music) as a think tank to provoke discussion on gender, race and sexuality, from sharing quotes about the link between misogyny and lesbian erasure to promoting her new DogFood record label, a collective that was launched to disrupt singular white ideas about black American music and celebrate alternative black culture.

WILLOW SMITH (@GWEELOS)

Whether she’s publishing images that support queer love, repping Amandla Stenberg’s comments on cultural appropriation or wading into the #freethenipple discussion with a torso-printed crop top, our favourite teen feminist Willow Smith has always used Instagram to advocate the causes that she believes in (as well as a whole lotta cosmic theory that makes us teeter on the brink of an existential crisis). She might only be fourteen years old, but that hasn’t held her back from challenging perceptions and being a passionate advocate of equality.

DEV HYNES (@DEVHYNES)

Singer, producer and musical chameleon Dev Hynes AKA Blood Orange has always been vocal about his very valid disgust with a society in which racism is still prevalent, and his Instagram feed is full of thought-provoking discussions about race and black history, from video clips of activist Angela Davis and social critic James Baldwin, to particularly pertinent extracts from the novels of political writer Ta-Nehisi Coates. Follow for book recommendations and a look back at iconic figures in history.

ZOE KRAVITZ (@ZOEISABELLAKRAVITZ)

When she’s not making us jealous with party selfies with Kanye West, Alexander Wang, A$AP Rocky and Debbie Harry, actress and musician Zoe Kravitz (aka Lolawolf) is posting feminist slogans (“Brains are the new tits”) and LGBTQ pride flags in support of same-sex marriage. She also uses Instagram to spread awareness of racial injustice, from hashtagging an image of Sandra Bland with #BlackLivesMatter and #WhiteCopsMustStop to a video of the murder of Walter Scott and expressing her disgust at the NYPD following the shooting of Eric Garner.

AZEALIA BANKS (@AZEALIABANKS)

Not everything Azealia Banks says is easy to agree with, particularly her recent comments on abortion, immigration and her use of homophobic language – but a woman who is unafraid to unapologetically speak her mind should not be dismissed so quickly. From calling out how black women are often treated in the media, to joining the debate about the many facets of feminism and her views on white privilege, the NYC rapper uses her Instagram prolifically and often.