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We present Verify Black, an initiative designed to enhance the identification and promotion of Black businesses across Instagram and Twitter, social media platforms that now serve as indispensable vehicles for modern enterprises. We call on Facebook/Instagram, Twitter, and other social networks to put in place the necessary Black-led internal frameworks to implement a social media verification and cataloging process for Black businesses through the use of a Verified Black Check.

The events of the past few weeks have reinforced the need for structural change as it affects Black life on all levels. Not only are we fighting against racial violence in all forms. We also find ourselves in the middle of a pandemic that disproportionately affects Black communities, both physiologically and economically. Even as we march, post and engage in important conversations, we must remember that it has never been more crucial to elevate Black voices, highlight Black leadership, and promote the work of the Black community. It is in this spirit that the #VERIFYBLACK Initiative was born.

Across a number of social media platforms, the blue checkmark has become a ubiquitous symbol of importance and legitimacy. We propose that this level of importance and legitimacy be assigned through the Verified Black Check to Black business owners who, unfortunately, still represent trailblazers in an economic structure designed to hinder their growth and visibility. The Verified Black Check would facilitate more effective identification of Black businesses across social media platforms, providing them with heightened visibility and a larger platform.

Let’s call each and every one of these social media platforms to move beyond their statements of support to making real structural changes that pass the mic to the Black Community in meaningful ways. Support #VERIFYBLACK by signing this petition.