A White Girl Slid Into My DMs

…and I encourage more to do the same!

Michelle Saahene
6 min readAug 29, 2019

It’s to be expected that strangers will direct message you when you become a public activist or figure. I enjoy the dialogue, and I’m more than happy to have conversations about race relations with anyone with an open mind. One direct message on Instagram in particular left a lasting impression on me. A white girl slid into my DM’s asking for relationship advice for her and her black boyfriend. I am not a inter-racial relationship expert. If you don’t know, I’m the woman who called out the discrimination of two black men who were arrested in a Philly Starbucks in April 2018 for not buying a coffee. Our message is specifically about using your own privilege for progress to be fight racism. Since I’ve never met this young woman, I was a bit perplexed by the message. Before I responded, I thought long and hard about how to address it. Let me give you some background in what I had been learning about white women since becoming an activist.

I was spending much of my time learning about white culture and unconscious bias. What particularly struck a cord with me was learning about intersectionality in the feminist movement. I learned that Susan B. Anthony told the black women to march in the back. I learned that at times white women lean on black women for advice, inspiration and strength, but don’t include them…