Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY
Published 4:04 p.m. ET June 14, 2020 | Updated 10:30 a.m. ET June 16, 2020
Artist Selena Gomez said social media has been “terrible” for her generation. She added that it “scares” her to see how exposed young people are.
Selena Gomez is putting her 179 million-strong Instagram following to good use.
The singer, 27, has been lending her account – the sixth most-followed on the social media platform – to prominent Black activists amid protests over the death of George Floyd in police custody. The latest to take over @selenagomez for the day? Ruby Bridges, who made history in 1960 as the first African-American student to desegregate an elementary school in the South.
“I just want to take a moment to thank Selena for this amazing opportunity to speak to you directly,” Bridges, 65, says in a video posted to Gomez’s account. “The footage that I want to share with you today has not been shown before now. It is footage from 1960, the day that I entered first grade here in New Orleans.
“It will help you to understand why I think we Black and brown sisters and brothers need to stand united in this fight to save Black and brown lives. I want you to remember that it is all of our shared history. This is your legacy, too.”
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The footage, an excerpt from the documentary “The Children Were Watching,” shows “the courage that our Black & Brown Families had during the civil rights movement,” Bridges says.
She added in a video caption: “Over the years I have dedicated my life to promoting tolerance and unity. During this Civil Unrest, it’s crucial we stand united to protect Black & Brown lives! We thank our sister Selena for allowing me to tell my story and bring more awareness to the importance of this moment, on this amazing platform!”
Gomez has been using her account to promote the work and ideas of Black activists such as Ibram X. Kendi, Raquel Willis and Kendrick Sampson.
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