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  • Writer's pictureLaura Berni

Autumn 2020 - What's Occurring?

Read this whilst listening to “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac

Hello Hello! As you may have noticed, the blog had been interrupted for quite a while. Let’s blame Covid-19 and not dwell on my incompetence.

Somehow Dan still trusts me to write these blogs even though they’re mainly rants, so here we are at the beginning of Blog 2.0, the return. To give you all the heads up, these will be monthly updates from now on.

This month I have decided to focus on virtual news. 2020 seems to be a virtual world made of endless Zoom calls, Zoom lectures, Zoom Quizzes, Zoom-you-got-the-idea. So I decided to cover two of the viral sensations of this Autumn. I will let you decide which one has had a bigger impact and which one has had the biggest reach.

I know most news isn’t exactly positive these days, and even I (can you believe it) have grown tired of ranting. Therefore, I would like to start this new year with some positivity. This blog will feature the most wholesome story to come out of the internet in a long while: @420doggface208’s skateboarding TikTok to Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams”. It will also cover important movement and hashtag #ShareTheMicUK.

So what was the best news you can come up with from 2020?

That’s how I began to think. 2020 has been a year that will be remembered by historians and probably no one else since we’ve all been watching Netflix for the last 7 months. But one thing really stood out for me, and probably the hunger we all feel for positive stories is what drove the success of this viral sensation.

One day Idaho labourer Nathan Apodaca, known as @420doggface208 wakes up, has a bad day, and decides to record himself skateboarding down the road, drinking Ocean Spray juice from a plastic bottle and vibing to Fleetwood Mac’s anthem “Dreams”. The TikTok video goes viral. I watched at least 5 times and I don't even have TikTok. Probability tells me, most of you have seen it too. The clip has over 50 million views and showed the positive power of social media and how wholesome the online community has the potential of being.

Things start getting serious when Ocean spray, the brand of juice the skateboarder was drinking, decided to buy him a truck (full of bottles of his favourite juice). Then, the donations started arriving. As of today, more than 10K have been gathered in support of Nathan Apodaca, who lives in a trailer. He started his own clothing brand and now even sells a copy of his outfit as a Halloween costume."I can pay my phone bill on time, and with the donations I was blessed with, that's helping me get a down payment for a house and my lady has savings that she's been saving for over 20 years, so she's throwing that in too," Mr. Apodaca said. Isn’t that just wonderful?

That’s not the end of it though! Fleetwood Mac’s "Dreams" has experienced a huge boost in popularity, bringing both the song and the famous album “Rumours" back in the charts for the first time since 1977. Both Mick Fleetwood and legend Stevie Nicks have now responded to the viral trend. Mick Fleetwood replicated the video and Stevie Nicks specifically joined TikTok just to sing along to her song. What a story!

So what about #ShareTheMicUK?

From 1 October, the first day of Black History Month, you may have seen a hashtag doing the rounds on Instagram: #ShareTheMicUK. But what does it actually mean?

In June this year, a campaign called #ShareTheMicNow (@sharethemicnow) was started in the US to get prominent white women with large social media followings to hand their Instagram accounts over to black women whose work and voices are shaping a better future for a day – i.e, sharing the mic. Inspired by the campaign, Vanessa Kingori MBE, publishing director at British Vogue, and Stephanie Phair, chief customer officer at Farfetch, wanted to start a similar movement here in the UK: #ShareTheMicUK.

A number of high profile white women have signed up to give their Instagram account over for a day, including Victoria Beckham, Gwyneth Paltrow, Charlotte Tilbury, Fearne Cotton, Alexa Chung, Melissa Hemsley, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Skye McAlpine, and many, many more.

The objective of #ShareTheMicUK is clear: magnify the voices of Black women and the significant work they're doing to effect change. According to the campaign's official press release, the founders put forth the following intentions for the initiative: To form a social media movement that magnifies Black women's lives, stories, and cultural contribution; to create understanding and action that challenges racial inequality; to dispel myths and foster relationships through storytelling, and to broaden the networks of the women involved and their followers." When women support each other we have the power to change the world," the release states.

Do I love the message behind this? Of course, I do. However, It would be foolish not to see how problematic this campaign is, which basically acknowledges the need for a more intersectional feminist movement. Why do black women need to use white women’s channels to be heard? I’ll let you draw the conclusions.

Never underestimate the power of Social Media!

And with this mediocre piece of advice, I’ll leave you. Till next time!


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