British Actor Ashley Walters kicked off Black History Month in partnership with Instagram’s latest campaign #ShareBlackStories.
The social media platform is joining forces with some of Britain’s most iconic black voices who will take to the gram and share their profile with someone who has influenced them, or someone they think will influence the next generation.
Today, Walters posted a video to IGTV to pay tribute to actor Lennie James, who he named as an influential black British person.
The Top Boy actor decided to talk about The Walking Dead star who he describes as being an inspiration at the beginning of his career in TV/film, hiring him for a screenplay called Storm Dead.
Walters said how important it was for him to see “a black man controlling his own destiny” and “seeing someone like himself” succeeding in his chosen field. He also added that James’ career has helped pave the way for other black male actors, signing off with a simple, “ thank you for being a positive role model for us all.”
Other key figures taking part in the #ShareBlackStories campaign is author Afua Hirsch who shared a story of someone from her chosen field, “the marvelous and remarkable” Margaret Busby.
Hirsch said: “As a black woman trying to find my own voice, [Margaret] has been endlessly interested, supportive and enthusiastic about helping a generation like me find our place and our ability to make change through writing.”
As well as creating a moment of celebration for the enormous contribution of black people to modern British life, #ShareBlackStories is about empowering people to use Instagram to spotlight or raise up the hero of their own black story.
Other notable people driving the campaign include; comedian Dane Baptiste, award-winning author and journalist Yomi Adegoke and fashion designer Walé Adeyemi. These creators and many others will be inviting their community to do the same using the hashtag #ShareBlackStories.
Trevor Johnson, Director of Market Operations at Instagram said: “Instagram is a place where diverse communities connect and share things that matter most to them. This is particularly true for the black community, with over 16.6 million people using hashtags like #blackexcellence and #blackgirlmagic. We hope more people will be encouraged to follow Ashley and Yomi’s lead and share the black stories that are important to them on Instagram – via IGTV, Stories or a post.”