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!”