@Jillisblack | Selling Blackness and Queerness in the Age of Identity Influencers #readingbuzzy

@museumbuzzy
from Likes to Influence
5 min readJan 5, 2024

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Recently, I developed a newfound interest in reading autobiographies of Influencers. I yearned to understand how they forged their online personas, achieved virality on social media, and coped with the myriad costs of fame in the Influencer industry. Among the tales that captivated me the most was that of @Jillisblack. Her story stands out not just because she is Black and queer, but because she has been attuned to her audience’s expectations in the culture industry since the moment her first video went viral on Facebook in 2016. Her narrative unveils the complexity of today’s Influencer economy, where the valuable currency is the sale of one’s persona.

Jill Louise Busby, also known as @Jillisblack, spent nearly a decade in the nonprofit sector specializing in diversity and inclusion. Her ascent to Influencer status began with a one-minute video on Instagram, a scathing critique of (in her words) “liberal gradualism and the so-called progressive nonprofit machine.” This video went viral, earning her millions of views across social platforms and establishing her as the authoritative voice on race-related issues. In the ensuing years, she amassed a loyal following of over eighty thousand people:

This book begins in 2016 when I was working in diversity and…

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@museumbuzzy
from Likes to Influence

elif cigdem artan, phd | a passionate sociologist curious about the rich tapestry of everyday life - in digital culture and anti-racist gender equity 🎠