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Instagram anti-racism resource, Dom Roberts
courtesy of Instagram/@domrobxrts

Speaking to the people behind the viral anti-racist graphics on Instagram

The posts have been instrumental in highlighting Black voices and resources, and helping non-Black allies take action

As Black Lives Matter activists continue to take to the streets in cities across the world, many allies that can’t attend in person have focused on providing aid online, spreading the movement’s message, donating to relevant funds, and directing allies towards important Black voices. 

Much of this effort has taken place via Instagram, where some users have been sharing carefully-crafted images containing messages of support for the BLM movement, lists of anti-racism resources, and further reading in the form of books, films, articles and music by people of colour. 

These images aren’t just an easy way to spread the message and show solidarity, though. They also provide clear information – and in some cases step-by-step guides – on how to get directly involved and take action in a meaningful way. Many of them also answer questions posed by white people and non-Black people of colour in the wake of George Floyd’s murder in police custody May 25, and the subsequent demonstrations.

Here, we speak to some of the creators behind widely-shared graphics on Instagram to get their take on why the shareable, actionable images are so important, and what further steps they suggest.


Dom Roberts, a 22 year old student, activist, and artist from LA, has been sharing informational graphics on Instagram since May 26, which engage with “uncomfortable issues” in the wake of Floyd’s death, as well as the killings of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. 

“Creating these graphics is a great way to raise awareness and point people towards a solution,” Roberts tells Dazed. “So many people feel overwhelmed and confused, so I want to help provide them with resources on where to start.”

Lily Someson, also 22 years old, and an MFA student based in Chicago, adds: “I created the resource because I had people around me, specifically white friends and allies, asking me what I thought would be the best way to sustain the movement in their everyday lives.”

“I felt compelled to make an infographic detailing ways that someone could do that, like buying from Black businesses and donating to bail-funds for protestors. I wanted it to serve as a base-line starting point for any ally who felt angry about the state of the world, but unaware of how to help the movement properly.”

Someson – whose posts include a guide for non-Black people to sustain a long-term movement – also points to the infographics shared across Instagram as a way to “lift the veil on normalized white supremacy and allow white people to see Black reality”.


Non-Black allies have a lot to learn. While resources such as books, films, and longform articles are undeniably a large (and essential) part of this self-education, graphics shared via social media provide more short-term solutions, also enabling writers to react quickly and directly to what’s going on around them.

Sophie Williams, the London-based author of the upcoming book Millenial Black, says: “The day of the news of George Floyd’s murder I felt absolutely helpless. I sat in the bathroom crying into a pillow. Big, shuddery, full body, from my stomach crying... The next day I felt ready to do something, or try to.”

So Williams began sharing posts – including a now-viral image on “being an anti-racist ally” – to less than 1000 followers via Instagram. In the last couple of weeks, that following has grown to over 135,000 people “who want to be part of making change”, proving how fast the information and inspiration can spread.

“I obviously had no idea things would take off this way,” Williams says, “but I think posts like mine are working because they’re so shareable.”

“I actually started by putting the same info in a story, but I wanted something more permanent that could be shared, accessed and digested more easily, and this format does exactly that.”


As effective as the graphics are for spreading an anti-racism message and encouraging action, the creators are also careful to point out that they shouldn’t serve as a replacement for the voices of Black activists they aim to amplify.

“While graphics that break conversations down for white people (and other non-Black people of colour) are important, it's also important to understand why posts like mine are spreading,” says Anna Edwards, a white 23 year old graduate student from Milwaukee, whose posts suggest potential responses to those denying the reality of what’s going on right now. “It comes from a familiar white voice that is easy for white people to digest.”

“There are many Black educators who are active on social media that offer the answers people are looking for. The issue is that white people do not look for these individuals or do not want to hear these Black voices.”

“As a white woman, my position should be one of amplifying these voices, not making them more palatable.”

Writers such as Ibram X. Kendi, Layla F. Saad, Rachel Cargle, Ta-Nehisi Coates and Aja Barber, and activists such as Ericka Hart, Mikaela Loach and Giselle Buchanan are “great educators and individuals to start with,” says Edwards.

Someson similarly suggests the need to engage with a community of Black commentators and creators, saying: “I used a lot of my lived experiences as a Black person as my reference, but I also used resources online and paid attention to what other Black creators were saying as well,” and specifically pointing to writers sharing their voices on Instagram, such as Sonya Renee Taylor and Adrienne Maree Brown.


The killings of Black people including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery in recent months are credited with igniting ongoing protests, and it’s important that their names are remembered. However, it’s also important to look at the issues of systemic racism and police brutality in a wider context.

With the outpouring of support and solidarity for Black Lives Matter comes the need to find ways to sustain the movement, and to maintain momentum.

“When developing resources, I wanted to give people a call to action. But, I also wanted to create something that would cause the audience to reflect within themselves,” says Dom Roberts. “Of course it is important we take actionable steps, but it’s just as important that we take this time to reflect on any underlying or internalized racism we may carry inside us.” 

For Someson, making and posting a guide came with the realisation of “the sheer amount of people who don't understand these concepts yet”: “Even though the post has been really well received, the comment section of that guide is a mess right now just because there are so many white people who are willfully ignorant about racism.”

“Those people are also the reason why I created the guide, because they need to wake up too. If we can give them the knowledge and resources to do their own research, we can only hope that they will learn how to be compassionate to other people's dispositions.” 

As Williams points out: “Other people might be new to this conversation and this fight, but we marginalised people have been doing this work for years.”

Find more anti-racism resources in this running list, and more ways to be an ally here.