To celebrate Black History Month in the U.S. and to honor the Black community on its platform, Instagram has launched #ShareBlackStories – bringing new creative tools, themed short films to IGTV, and more.
Instagram wants to help its users express themselves and share diverse perspectives, and there is no better time to do this than Black History Month. With the launch of #ShareBlackStories this February, Instagram will be featuring a range of stories from the Black community – from creators like Tawny Chatmon, Paola “Pao Pao” Mathé and Uzumaki Cepeda – short films featuring “distinct Black voices, produced by Clarence Hammond (Life in a Year) and Dougie Cash (To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, Cobra Kai) from Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment, along with Marsha L. Swinton (Beautiful Boy).”
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To honor the black community on Instagram and celebrate #BlackHistoryMonth, we’re sharing another story in our series #ShareBlackStories. This month and beyond, follow along and share your unique perspective using the hashtag. Through the art of wearing a headwrap, Paola Mathe (@findingpaola) discovered a community of women with their own vision for the future. “I want to create bold, colorful images of black women of all nationalities, backgrounds and social classes,” Paola says. “Images I wish my 5-year-old self could see.” Growing up in Pétion-Ville, Haiti, Paola vividly remembers the first time she wore a headwrap at the age of 7. “It made me feel beautiful for the very first time,” she says. As an adult now living in Austin, Texas, Paola sees a headscarf as a sign of strength and confidence. “It makes me feel taller,” she says. “Like I’m standing with an army of my ancestors who fought for me to be here.” In 2014, Paola founded Fanm Djanm (@fanmdjanm), a company dedicated to selling headwraps and cultivating a community around them. In Haitian Creole it means “strong woman.” “That’s who I wanted to celebrate with my headwraps,” Paola says. See more stunning images of Paola wearing her signature headscarves, right now on our story. Photo by @findingpaola
The stories will be appearing on the official @instagram account, and the full films will appear on Instagram’s IGTV channel on February 19.
Users can join in to #ShareBlackStories using new creative tools that have been “conceptualized by Black voices at Instagram.” As the announcement explains, these include “camera effects inspired by the rich cultural history of telling stories through African mud cloth patterns” that are available right now, and “touch on themes of family, bravery and good fortune.” If you’d like to use the effects, simply open the Stories camera and tap on the effects icon.
Instagram has also added custom templates designed by community illustrator Loveis Wise, and there is even a new #ShareBlackStories sticker available within the Stories sticker tray that you can try. The camera effects and the #ShareBlackStories sticker are both available on iOS and Android in the United States.