It takes a lot of time and energy to both get and remain woke, so after talking to my friends and doing some research I put together this list of 13 black social justice activists you should follow for quick updates on the black community’s most pressing issues.  

  1. Cherno Biko uses Twitter to raise awareness about violence against trans women of color through hashtags like #FolksLikeUs and #BlackTransLifesMatter. She’s met with Hillary Clinton to discuss this epidemic and continues to take strides to advance trans women’s social justice issues. Through her #MrsBikoWorldTour campaign, Biko strives to enhance black trans women’s visibility, and on October 19th, participated in Out in Hip Hop, a VH1 special. Follow her here. 

  2. Dawud Walid is a writer and activist who tweets about Islamophobia and Muslim protest movements in America. He links these national issues to the larger Palestinian liberation struggle, and explains the connection between white privilege and continued injustice. Follow him here.
  3. Beverly Bond is the creator of Black Girls Rock, Inc., an organization with a variety of campaigns to empower and uplift black girls. Her tweets highlight black women who are trailblazers in their respective industries and her timeline constantly spotlights leadership conferences/events for black women. Follow her here.

  4. Jesse Williams is an actor best-known for his role on Grey’s Anatomy and one of the founders of Question Bridge, a media project aimed at representing black men and providing a space for them to interact with one another. He tweets about racism in America, the prison industrial complex, and spotlights artists and other activists whose work is centered on the black community. Follow him here

  5. Bree Newsome is known as the woman who brought down the confederate flag in front of South Carolina’s State House by scaling the flagpole. However, she was a longtime activist, filmmaker, and writer before that historic moment. Her tweets shed light on the murders of black people by the state and private prisons and strategies around organizing grassroots movements. Follow Bree and her brave activism here.
  6. Zellie Imani is a teacher, activist and curator of the website On Twitter, he brings attention to both national and international movements for black freedom, including the Baltimore Uprising and the recent protests at Wits University in Johannesburg. Follow him here

  7. Shaun King is the founder of Justice Together, a “coalition against police brutality,” and is a senior justice writer for the NY Daily News. He often tweets in story form, giving his followers a step-by-step account of what really happened during a variety of police-citizen interactions — contrasting the lies that law enforcement agencies and news outlets report. If you want the truth laid out in the most straightforward manner, follow Shaun.

  8. Alicia Garza is one of the founders of the Black Lives Matter organization. In addition to tweeting about BLM, she also spreads information about trans liberation and global freedom movements. Follow her here.

  9. Martese Johnson is a college student at the University of Virginia. On March 15, 2015, Martese was brutally assaulted by Alcoholic Beverage Control officers after he attempted to get into a bar near UVA’s campus. Coverage of the incident was widely circulated, and Johnson has since become an important voice in police reform. Follow him on Twitter for updates on the latest happenings in police brutality, systemic racism, and the 2016 presidential election. Follow him here.
  10. Marc Lamont Hill is a professor at Morehouse College. Through his tweets, Professor Hill provides valuable insight on Black-Palestinian solidarity movements and details a host of black political issues, ranging from mass incarceration to America’s education system and #blacklivesmatter. Follow him here.

  11. Johnetta Elzie is a founder of and helped created Campaign Zero, a step-by-step plan to reform the criminal justice system in America. She is heavily involved in the Black Lives Matter movement and organized resistance in Ferguson after Mike Brown’s murder. Follow her on Twitter to stay informed about BLM happenings, police brutality in America and the intersection of race and gender in the black freedom struggle. Follow her here.

  12. Deray McKesson, like Netta, is also a founder of and gained popularity after live-tweeting the unrest in Ferguson. His timeline will keep you in the loop about all of the protests and campaigns popping up around the country to combat police brutality, and his tweets give important updates on what political leaders are doing and saying in response to the BLM movement. Follow him here.

  13. J Skyler is an author and activist who tweets about feminism, racism and ignorance in pop culture, as well as the politics of sexuality. Follow her here. 

*This is not an exhaustive list, but a great place to start if you’re hoping to gain some insight on various activist movements via Twitter.

What other Twitter accounts do you recommend for people looking to follow more activists? Let us know in the comments below!