Thoughts on Celebrity and the race pandemic.

Samira Amalia Ibrahim
3 min readJun 10, 2020

What is the actual point of celebrity?

I personally feel quite indifferent about celebrities. They’re humans, I appreciate those whose talents contribute to culture, and I don’t follow those who don’t. There’s no-one that I would fawn over (save maybe queen B). I don’t often gossip about them. I only really listen seriously, when they have something important to say.

However, as a marketer, I understand the power of influence. I see the point of celebrity during this time of crisis as a critical moment for them to use their platforms to promote human rights and racial equality. Values that are quite conventional and straight-forward but have been caught up in a system of privilege that stops them from reaching those who’ve historically been deemed ‘other’.

During this race pandemic that Black people have been fighting for generations, the role of white celebrities, white people of influence and all white people is exactly the same: To speak loudly and relentlessly for change, promote black voices and educate yourselves and others on dismantling the oppression of Black people over the last 400 years.

I understand the logical and habitual thought behind the social post of solidarity as your audience is concentrated across a few platforms, but it is beneath the bare minimum of what you should be doing. I don’t need to see this performance of solidarity. Your posts of black squares and black hearts, graphics of black and white people in harmony; I don’t need it. Your MLK, or {insert here any other black activist, writer, hero} quote; I don’t need it

Bell Hooks wrote in All About Love; “We would all love better if we used it as a verb” and we need you (white celebrities, white people of influence and all white people) to use your privilege to help us pressure the systems that created it. We need action. This is true solidarity.

Some white celebrities (and white people) have only just started to self-reflect on their ancestral nepotist status in society. A world seen through privilege tinted glasses. Here’s what I think they can and should be doing:

We need you to commit to the movement in a real way. Post links to where your followers can donate, educate your followers about structural and systemic racism, give your platform to organizations to use, donate and be transparent about your own learnings; show your fans the books you are reading to educate yourself and…

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Samira Amalia Ibrahim
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I like big ideas, uncomfortable truths, awkward humor and wine by the bottle.