Black influencer launches online shop to raise money for anti-racism charities
Two weeks ago, Sophie Williams, a Black author who is currently working on a book about Black women’s intersectional identities, went viral on Instagram.
She shared a post with 10 pink slides that explained how you can be an anti-racist ally.
‘Allyship and anti-racism is active, daily work, but racism and white supremacy is everyone’s problem, and we all need to be part of the solution,’ she captioned her guide.
It has since racked up nearly 70,000 likes, and Sophie’s account blew up with new followers – going from just under 1,000 people to 131,000 within weeks.
Wanting to use her new-found fame for good, the author, who is also the co-founder of Culture Heroes, a non-profit organisation dedicated to raising BAME representation at a senior level in the advertising and the creative industries, has now launched an online shop of products to raise money for anti-racism charities.
Millennial Black, as the e-store is known (named after Sophie’s upcoming book with the same title), was launched last week and features items including tote bags, prints and postcards – all with an anti-racism message.
‘I wanted to launch the shop because I suddenly found myself with a platform,’ author Sophie Williams tells Metro.co.uk.
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Allyship and anti racism is active, daily work, but racism and white supremacy is everyone’s problem, and we all need to be part of the solution. . . . . . #pullup #ally #allies #whitesupremacy #inittogether #resources #antiracism #learning #blacklivesmatter #blacklivesmatter✊? #stopkillingblackpeople #stopkillingus #icantbreathe #justiceforahmaud #justiceforgeorgefloyd
‘I wanted to not only have a chance to talk to and educate people, but also to make a tangible change by giving people a way to raise funds.
‘The first intention of the shop is money. There’s a lot of conversation at the moment, but we need to actually funnel funds to the people who are on the ground doing the work.
‘The second step is visibility. When people get their things they will be walking around with tote bags that say “I will speak out against injustice every single time” and putting prints on their walls that say “all lives won’t matter until Black lives matter” – it’s a really impactful way of keeping these discussions in peoples minds whilst supporting important charities.’
To create her shop, Sophie reached out to Awesome Merchandise, which creates custom products, and within 48 hours, Millennial Black was born.
All proceeds from sales will go to charities ‘working towards racial injustice’.
Speaking about what it’s like to be a Black woman in the UK in 2020, Sophie added: ‘That’s a really hard question. For a long time people have been asking Black people to quantify and justify themselves, and even more so for Black people with intersectional identities, like Black womxn, LGBTQIA+ Black people, disabled Black people, and so on.
‘I think this movement is about actually getting away from that and just saying – Black people are people.
‘It’s as simple as that, and once people really truly take that in, and take it on, maybe they will start to see us as deserving the same lives and liberties as every other group.’
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