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Photograph: Courtesy @kierstensharris

11 Black influencers (and one robot) you should follow on Instagram

An essential list of Black tastemakers in beauty, hip-hop, food, and more

By Joshua Robinson
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Black culture influences everything. From Black tastemakers who are changing the way we eat to Black Twitter organizing entire social movements, Black influencers are consistently at the forefront of American popular culture. And it's not just about having a big social media following; our favorite Black influencers are also creatives and business-owners, innovators in their fields and leaders in their communities, and following them is a very real way to celebrate Black people’s continued contributions to our society. We reached out to some of our favorite Black influencers on Instagram and asked them for recommendations on additional Black tastemakers that you should be engaging with right now. So go ahead and click that follow button. 

RECOMMENDED: See all our Black History Month content

Black influencers to follow right now

📸 LaVonta Osborne, @vonie_boo
👥 15K followers
📍 Nashville

This Tennessee-based influencer is known for posting natural hair tutorials, showcasing pieces from her apparel brand Steam Fashions, and cute pics of her adorable new baby. Her content is both wholesome and uplifting, and everyone from new mamas to natural hair enthusiasts flock to her gorgeous feed. 

 

What Black influencer do you love following? 

Lynda Jay @naturallyyours_ | “I chose Lynda because she inspires underrepresented Black women. She embraces her natural beauty and is very confident. She loves building up our brown-skin women to [make sure] we feel comfortable in our own skin.”

📸 Kiersten Harris, @kierstensharris
👥 11K followers
📍 Atlanta

The serial entrepreneur is perhaps best known for her revolutionary new app HERide, which is a fledgling rideshare company that prioritizes women’s safety. Following Keirsten is a surefire way to stay informed about one of the most cutting edge Black-owned businesses, and it’s honestly always great to see a Black businesswoman on the TL.

What Black influencer do you love following?

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Rudy Simpson Jr. @rudysimpsonjr | “Rudy has been on the front lines in lower income communities for the past few years, putting an extreme amount of time and passion into developing positive Black businesses and giving them the equal platform that they deserve. Opportunities are created because of people like Rudy that paved the way.”

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👥 11.8K followers
📍 Atlanta

If you’re a fan of trying new foods while reminiscing on hip-hop history, then Deverick Long—self-proclaimed professional catfish fryer and 90s hip-hop geek—is here to brighten up your feed. Known as the Hip-Hop Foodie, Long’s content is a surprisingly dynamic combination of scrumptious food flicks and rap throwbacks.

What Black influencer do you love following?

Empress Keshayla @empress.keshayla“Keshayla is very passionate about her work and products. She’s always sharing tips about life, business, natural health, skincare, and hair care. Keshayla’s an overall great person that can be an inspiration for many.”

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📸 Jarrett Lampley, @wessywoo
👥 1,434 followers
📍 L.A., Chicago 

Originally, hailing from Chicago, Jarrett is a Los Angeles-based photographer, visual designer, and art director. The UCLA graduate’s Instagram is like a living portfolio, featuring shots of Black musicians such as 6lack, Tierra Whack, Usher, and more.

What Black influencer do you love following?

Renata Cherlise’s Black Archives @blackarchives.co | “As a creative that finds inspiration through the lens of my ancestors, I recommend Black Archives, founded by Renata Cherlise. It's wonderful to see an amazingly curated set of images depicting Black life throughout the decades. This account gives me inspiration and serves as a depiction of Blackness [with] beauty and authenticity.”

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📸 Kim Zulu, @kimzulu_
👥 3,334 followers
📍 South Africa 

African influencer Kim Zulu isn’t even human. Seriously. The CGI model is South Africa’s first e-influencer, and over the past year, she's scored a modeling gig with Kangol and been featured on media outlets like Forbes. Following Kim is the IG-equivalent of stepping into the future. 

What Black influencer do you love following?

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Ayanda Thabethe @ayandathabethe_ | “She is a South African darling of note. She’s a host on E! Entertainment Africa, and she’s such a great example of someone young girls adore and look up to.”

📸Dainá, @dainamurel 
👥 120K followers
📍United Kingdom 
Sneakerhead, musician, and YouTube extraordinaire Dainá is a multihyphenate Black creative based in the UK. Dainá’s feed features a nice assortment of streetwear looks, and it gives followers a steady stream of updates regarding her musical exploits. Whether you’ve been watching her on YouTube or you’re simply obsessed with well-executed hypebeast imagery, you won’t regret following Dainá on the 'Gram.
What Black influencer do you love following?
Alyssa Forever @ForeverFlawlyss | “Everything she does is of great quality. From hair tutorials to mixing streetwear and girly fashion, she's on point. If you're a sneaker lover, she shows you how to make bomb outfits for every occasion, and her realness is relatable from sharing her dating struggles to her mental health struggles. She's transparent, creative, and fun.”

Read about more Black trailblazers

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