Black women launch Instagram takeover for Share The Mic campaign

Black women including Bernardine Evaristo and June Sarpong have taken over the Instagram accounts of high-profile white women as part of a campaign to amplify black female voices.

The #ShareTheMic campaign, which launched on October 1 – the first day of Black History Month, hopes to reach a total of more than 175 million followers.

Booker Prize winner Evaristo took over the account of CNN’s chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour, while journalist Sarpong was handed control of Victoria Beckham’s Instagram and its 28.7 million followers.

Writing to Beckham’s followers, Sarpong detailed her work as the BBC’s first director of creative diversity, a post she took in October 2019.

She said: “I am committed to changing society for the better and helping to educate and challenge those who hold limiting beliefs, or who have been enjoying the benefits of a system steeped in systemic racism without realising its true cost.

“I believe in the inherent goodness of people and that we are all a product of our social conditioning and sometimes that conditioning needs to evolve.”

Irish-Nigerian writer Emma Dabiri, author of Don’t Touch My Hair, was handed the reins of Gwyneth Paltrow’s account, which has 7.5 million followers.

She wrote about the racism she experienced growing up in Ireland during the 80s and 90s.

Kourtney Kardashian, who has 102 million followers, gave her account over to Vanessa Kingori, publishing director at British Vogue and a co-organiser of the campaign.

The reality TV star wrote: “I will take part in #ShareTheMicUK to magnify Black women’s voices. I can’t wait to listen and watch Vanessa take over my account.”

Other pairings include Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg with social advocate Sharon Cooper, and entrepreneur Sharmadean Reid with makeup mogul Charlotte Tilbury.

The campaign – created by Bozoma Saint John, Luvvie Ajayi Jones, Glennon Doyle and Stacey Bendet Eisner – has come to the UK after launching in the US in June.

The UK version was launched by Kingori and Stephanie Phair, chief customer officer at Farfetch and chairwoman of the British Fashion Council.