Selena Gomez continues to do her part to amplify Black voices. In recent weeks, the pop star has been handing the reins of her Instagram account to Black activists and luminaries to share their stories, and on Sunday (June 14), she lent her platform to Ruby Bridges, the woman best known for making history as the first Black student to desegregate an elementary school in the South back in 1960 at just six years old.
After thanking Gomez and introducing herself to the superstar’s nearly 180 million followers, Bridges made good use of the moment by sharing never-before-seen footage from the day she entered first grade at New Orleans’ all-white William Frantz Elementary School.
“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,” Bridges said before playing the clip. “I want you to remember that it is all of our shared history. This is your legacy, too.”
The excerpt — from the 1961 documentary The Children Were Watching — shows six-year-old Bridges being escorted to school by a pair of U.S. Marshals, intercut with interviews from angry white parents hurling racial slurs at the camera over the integration of New Orleans’ public school system. In the video’s caption, the activist shared that she wanted to “show the courage that our Black & Brown Families had during the Civil Rights Movement of 1960!”
Other Black voices Gomez has given her Instagram account to in recent days include Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza, author Ibram X. Kendi, journalist Jelani Cobb, actor Kendrick Sampson, Harvard University professor Sarah Elizabeth Lewis, trans writer/activist Raquel Willis and Killer Mike of Run the Jewels.
Check out Bridges’ eye-opening Instagram takeover below.
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Hello I’m Ruby Bridges. In 1960 I was the first Black child to integrate an all-White elementary school, William Frantz Elementary, in New Orleans, Louisiana. 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!⠀ ⠀ — Ruby Bridges (@rubybridgesofficial)
A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on Jun 14, 2020 at 9:06am PDT
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This footage hasn’t been seen before now. It will show the courage that our Black & Brown Families had during the Civil Rights Movement of 1960! I also wanted to highlight a story that’s connected to my story. I felt like it was important to show our Brown brothers and sisters that they were also involved in the Civil Rights Movement, especially that day when I entered the school. You will see footage that highlights the courageous Gabriel family and moments around Daisy Gabriel, a mother who was trying to bring her daughter to school the day that I integrated the school. It is such a heart wrenching video to see the sacrifices she had to make trying to bring her daughter to school that day as well. It was important to me to show her story to the world. ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ It’s your legacy too!⠀ ⠀ ⠀ United We Must Continue Stand! ⠀ To see the documentary, “The Children Were Watching”, in its entirety, please click the link in my bio @RubyBridgesOfficial. Special Thxs to Drew Associates for providing the Amazing Footage, @brnctt @leovolcy for their editing expertise and our Sister in the Struggle … SELENA⠀ ⠀ — Ruby Bridges (@rubybridgesofficial)
A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on Jun 14, 2020 at 10:18am PDT