Recently, I have been even more so inspired to learn more about what it means to be a POC (Person of Colour) and not to let this limit me despite what the media says. I want to lift people of colour up and to portray that we matter. Colour shouldn’t make us different. There are many inspiring men and women out there who many of you may know but some you may not. No matter how well known or not so known they are, I believe they’ve stood their ground and have made being a POC a powerful thing.
i n s t a g r a m : cathrinekhom
She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Local Wolves magazine, and just an all-around brilliant person and inspiration. The magazine that she champions is beautifully curated and encourages creative minds to express themselves through different ways such as words, drawings, and photos. The magazine does not only feature seasonal creatives but also opens up the floor for people like you and me. Each issue has a different theme, and if you feel particularly compelled to express your thoughts, you can do so by sending your work in. It might get featured! I’ve had the privilege of seeing my work featured in one of the issues too. Cathrine has achieved so much and most definitely inspired so many people around the world too.
i n s t a g r a m : edward_enninful
Last year, Edward became the editor-in-chief of British Vogue magazine. He’s truly turned the tables in the history of the magazine. Hiring the likes of Pat McGrath and Adwoa Aboah along with a few others has given the magazine that much needed ‘pop of colour’. At the age of 18, he had already been appointed the fashion director of i-D magazine. Since then, he has consulted for a myriad of runway shows and advertising campaigns such as Calvin Klein, Fendi, and Valentino. He inspires me because he was already working on attaining his dream while studying at university and he managed to juggle career commitments on top of getting a degree- which he successfully did.
i n s t a g r a m : amandlastenberg
The main thing I love about Amandla is the fact that she makes sure that her opinions are heard. She doesn’t shy away from her beliefs. She speaks her mind and isn’t afraid of what people might say. Amandla is also extremely vocal in situations such as cultural appropriation, discrimination, and Black Lives Matter. She even created a video on cultural appropriation. It’s not just her voice, but also the actions. In other words, we NEED more people like her in this world.
i n s t a g r a m : rupikaur_
I found out about Rupi through Instagram, and her short but sweet poems quickly caught my attention. In her poems, Rupi typically discusses race, violence, love and feminism along with a few other big topics. Rupi started off by sharing her poems and illustrations on Tumblr and then moved onto Instagram where she got most of her initial recognition. What I love about her poems is that they are so personal in every way. From the message to her chosen use of lowercase letters and no punctuation apart from a full stop at the end. She thinks about every single detail. She’s so brave and a true inspiration for choosing to share her life with her audience by choosing to stand up for herself, and to promote self-love which many people are struggling with today.
i n s t a g r a m : renieddolodge
Mainly known for her notable book Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race, Reni typically discusses structural racism. The book stems from a blog post she wrote back in 2014 (I strongly advise that you check it out). It discusses racism in Britain, something people tend not to think about since there’s so much happening in America. In the book, she highlights how she’s become tired of having to deal with hostility fired at her when attempting to discuss the issues of racism. The book is full of data to back up her statements. I highly recommend you give it a read. Having studied English Literature at university, she went on to become a journalist having written for publications such as The Guardian, The New York Times, and i-D. Reni is literally doing everything I aspire to do. The fact that she’s ‘been there and done that’ gives me hope that it’s possible and rewarding. As well as all of this, she’s an avid feminist having been involved in feminist activism while at university. She’s also recently been photographed for British Vogue as part of 6 other influential women who Vogue calls the “new suffragettes”. Vogue chose 7 women who fight to empower other women and Reni was chosen as one of them. 100 years ago, women were granted suffrage and so, this celebrates that. How amazing is that?!
i n s t a g r a m : yarashahidi
Yara is not just an actress, but an activist. She’s an outspoken advocate for diversity and constantly uses her voice to help and support others. Currently, she’s on a gap year where she’s taking the time to play the lead role in the new TV show Grown-ish (originally called Black-ish), but is planning on going to Harvard University later on this year. She inspires many young women to excel in life, especially academically. Her social and cultural impact is huge, and she has inspired me to be more vocal and also to strive to empower women. She used her role on the show to raise awareness of the need to promote diversity in Hollywood and the media in general, and she often uses her social media to address ‘hard-to-speak-about’ topics. A random thing I love about her is the fact that she changes her social media profile pictures to pictures of her inspirations (check out her current Instagram and twitter profile pictures).
i n s t a g r a m : hyeonseolee
Well known for her book The Girl with Seven Names, she is a Korean activist and her story is quite inspiring (you’ll need to read her book to find out more!) Hyeon-seo lived in North Korea and escaped to China in the midst of all the suffering that was happening. She became a refuge and lived in China without her family for many years. She eventually helped her family escape out of North Korea too. Much of her time is spent speaking for human rights and refugee issues. Her extreme bravery and courage while fighting for survival and freedom make her a muse.
t w i t t e r : maejemison
She’s the first African American to travel into space which was a huge moment, but there’s so much more to her. From an early age, she wanted to go to space and, despite astronauts at that time mainly being white and male, she decided that she should go too. Mae graduated from Stanford University having studied Chemical engineering and African and Afro American studies. She was selected out of 2,000 other applicants to become an astronaut. In 1992 she made history when she went to space for 8 days. While in space, she conducted experiments on the crew, motion sickness, and bone cells. After having fulfilled her dream of going into space, she became an environmental studies professor at Dartmouth College.
t w i t t e r : malala
Malala is a 20-year-old Pakistani activist for female education and it’s inspiring how she’s fought for this from such a young age. I’m 20 right now and I wish I was brave enough to do what she has already done. Her activism led to her being shot by a man but, recovering from this, it led her to fight even harder, founding the Malala Fund. In 2013 she published her book, and ever since she’s won prizes such as the Noble Peace Prize. The book is called I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban. A children’s edition was also published I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Changed the World.
Who are some of your favourite POC?