10 Black Influencers that You Should Follow

Maryam Abdella, Features Editor

The number of social media influencers has undoubtedly grown in the past decade. The title “influencer” is given to someone who uses their authority/relationship with their audience in their specific niche to influence their decisions. In simpler terms, an influencer is someone who has followers who support them/their cause. 

Some influencers use their social media to build their own brands, while others represent brands they believe in. While there are many reasons behind someone becoming an influencer, the fact that stands is that they all develop some sort of message they want to reach their fans. 

In honor of Black History Month, the Hoofbeat has compiled a list of 10 black influencers who use their platforms to advocate for body positivity and representation.

1. Arame Fall ( @fallarame ) – 21.7k Followers


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Arame Fall was born and raised in Senegal, West Africa and can speak a total of four languages.Fall currently resides in Los Angeles, California and works as a plus-size model for Savage x Fenty, Good American, and 11 Honoré. She sells graphic tees under the name “face tease” through her shopify page—with the link in her instagram profile. She also appeared in Beyonce’s musical film Black is King in 2020, which is now streaming on Disney+.  Fall headed NYX Professional Makeup’s cosmetic campaign “Born to Glow.” With the beauty industry shifting more towards diversity, “straight size models” are no longer the only face to beauty.

2. Enam Asiama (@enamasiama) – 94.1k Followers


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Enam Asiama was born and partly raised in Ghana until she was nine years old, which was when she and her family moved to Birmingham, England. She identifies as a Black, African-British, plus-size, queer, and femme individual. When she first moved to London to attend university, she “noticed that a lot of people wore bold makeup, had big hair, or had a specific personality that was quirky and weird. I finally felt like I fit in” (Refinery29). Asiama fronted the Rodarte X Universal Standard campaign and models for Sephora. She continues to tap into her “hyper-femme” side by wearing makeup that is deeply inspired by the drag queen scene. She says that in the future, she will “forever promote the agenda that Black is beautiful and fat folks are worthy of visibility and love” (Refinery29).

3. Christina Brown (@lovebrownsugar) – 43.2k Followers


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Christina Brown was born and raised in New York City and currently lives in Los Angeles with her two children. She is a digital media strategist and a mompreneur—mom and entrepreneur. Brown started her blog, LoveBrownSugar, nine years ago with the purpose of embodying style through the lens of self empowerment. She believes that “Style empowers you, because when you look good on the outside it helps you feel good on the inside” (Brown). She is also the producer of the annual event, BrownGirlsLove Power Day, a digital and live events platform focused on providing resources and inspiration to budding entrepreneurs.

4. Ugbad Abdi (@iamugbad) – 45.3k Followers


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Ugbad Abdi is Somali-American model born in Kismayo, Somalia and was raised in a Kenyan refugee camp until she was nine years old, when her family resettled in Des Moines, Iowa with the help of UNICEF. Two months after her high school graduation, she received an Instagram DM from the Next Models scout Lacey Hevern. She  is now 20 years old and first made her debut on the runway wearing haute couture—fashionable clothes—created by Valentino. Abdi has opened shows for the brands Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors at New York Fashion Week and has modeled for Vogue with renown model Naomi Campbell. She is the first Hijabi model to walk on the runway for the fashion brands Fendi and Lanvin.

5. Sonya Renee Taylor (@sonyareneetaylor) – 320k Followers

Sonya Renee Taylor is a queer, neurodiverse activist and wrote the self-help book The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love. The book presents three critical elements; Radical Honesty, Radical Vulnerability, and Radical Empathy. The idea for the book started off with a poem Taylor wrote in 2010 called “Untitled: The Body is Not an Apology.” The Body is Not and Apology is now a digital media and education company founded by Taylor, and it is committed to cultivating the Radical Self Love movement. Taylor continues to promote body positivity through her social media.

6. Philomena Kwao (@philomenakwao) – 69.4k Followers


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Philomena Kwao is a British plus-size model for the brands Lane Bryant and Estée Lauder. She also models for Swimsuits for All, an online retailer that sells swimsuits sizes 4-40. Kwao is a self-proclaimed humanitarian and works with The Lily Project, a nonprofit organization that aims to reduce cervical cancer rates and improve women’s sexual health in countries where women lack access to basic sexual health education. She is also the author of the children’s book “The Queen in Me.” In the book’s description, she says that “The Queen in Me is the book I wish I had as a child.” The book celebrates the beauty of being black and hopes to encourage young black girls to feel confident and proud in who they are.

7. Shavonda Gardner (@sgardnerstyle) -152k Followers

Shavonda Gardner is a self-proclaimed maximalist who concentrates on the idea of living big in small spaces. She and her family moved out of their large, builder-grade house—meaning it was built from inexpensive materials—and into a small bungalow half its size. Her blog, SG Style, serves as a space for her to share her experiences as well as her passion for design, travel, and gardening. Gardner’s design philosophy is that “Just because you live small, it doesn’t mean you can’t have big bold style!” (Gardner). Her design style consists of eclectic elements, with every space possessing something unexpected. She says that “Life is too short to live in a home that doesn’t make your heart smile.”

8. Akon Adichol (@akonadichol) – 1.9k Followers


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Akon Adichol is a plus-size model under the Ursula Weidmann label and models for Italian Vogue. While not much is known about this rising star yet, she has been socially active in her political and personal beliefs. In an interview with VMagizine, she said that “Society is a form of extended family and I would like for my contribution to society to be positive.” She hopes “to see major issues being resolved by going in and fighting them against it at the root of the problem, instead of dealing with symptoms” (VMagizine).

9. Erika Hart (@iharterika) – 474k Followers

Erika Hart is a queer, non-binary femme and is the host of the podcast Hoodrat to Headwrap. They are a sex educator, writer, and has modeled for the magazines Glamour (UK), Paper, and Out. Hart was a professor at Columbia University for four years, and is currently speaking out about their discrimination against them after being removed from the school’s faculty list and replaced by another professor without prior notice. Hart was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer when they were 28 and went viral for attending the Afropunk Festival topless, showing off their scars from the removal of parts of both breasts.

10. Jenné Claiborne (@sweetpotatosoul) – 375k Followers


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Jenné Claiborne grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, where she developed her love of sweet potatoes. As a kid, she would eat few healthy foods that were not related to sweet potatoes. When Claiborne thinks of soul food, she thinks of candied yams, sweet potato pie, and just “a good ‘ol baked sweet potato” (Claiborne). Claiborne started her blog, Sweet Potato Soul, in 2010 and continues to post vegan recipes accompanied by cooking videos and healthy eating tips. She also has a Youtube channel and cookbook with the same namesake.