‘Black-ish’ Star Yara Shahidi Talks Activism, Black Joy, and ‘Reconstructing The Future’

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Yara Shahidi opened up during an interview with Elle, discussing topics concerning racial injustices, Black joy, activism, and reconstructing our future for the better.

After Yara’s debut on the series Black-ish, she has been praised an activist after using her platform to bring awareness to topics regarding racial discrimination. Since the age of 14, Yara has been admired for her enthusiasm and knowledge when speaking to the public about sensitive topics.

“This idea of consistently being of service to the world around you is a dialogue that we were raised with, starting with grandparents on both sides of my family and then into the conversations in our household. I’m beyond grateful that our house has been consistently a place of conversation and a place of action since I was young,’ said Shahidi in an interview with Elle.

Yara has been active on Instagram in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, sharing resources for her followers to get involved and donate. On Monday, June 22nd, Yara posted a touching video featuring her and her grandfather sharing words of wisdom on the importance of Black joy.

 

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My Papa on the importance of our Black Joy Your wisdom always grounds and guides me #BLM

A post shared by Yara (يارا‎) Shahidi (@yarashahidi) on

In the same interview, Yara used fashion as her definition of Black joy, commending her stylist, Jason Bolden, for representing Black people in the fashion industry.

She added, “the joy that comes from a well-cut shirt or a beautiful fabric—becomes a statement about who you are and how you take up space…Joy comes from being able to consistently embrace our sense of community and revel in our culture year-round. We must believe that there is something that we’re fighting for in order to keep fighting.”

Yara later described to Elle what having a large platform means to her. She said, “The greatest skill about having a platform, I think, is handing over the mic.” However, she also voiced that social media activism does not always need to be made public. She described organizations and moments in history where “secrecy” helped made change possible.

“We need this imagination and creative force to completely reconstruct our reality. To not only destroy but to completely reconstruct what the future looks like,” explained Yara.

Yara has used her voice to not only demand a need for change but also spread positivity towards the Black community and its history. To keep up with more of Yara’s informative content, follow her on Instagram, and check out her full interview with Elle magazine here.