You know how the story goes. A challenge gets started, a quote becomes a part of the American lexicon or a beauty trend takes over the internet and the Black person behind it is excluded. Thankfully, the tale is becoming less prevalent because supporters are adamant about creatives getting their just due and also because the content makers themselves are taking their future into their own hands.

Read Girls United’s interview with Keara Wilson, the teen choreographer who created the “Savage” challenge.

On February 10, ABC News reported on two mansions, Collab Crib and Valid Crib, that house Black influencers and give them more control over their output. “We have social media celebrities that come together to make content via their Instagram, their YouTube, their TikToks… These days, a lot of companies and brands want and need content,” said Keith Dorsey, the manager of both homes. Going viral is a financially beneficial move that Black singers, dancers, actors and personalities have not always been able to make, to no fault of their own. But the artists of Collab Crib and Collab Valid realize the power they hold as the owners of their intellectual property.

ABC says most of the people living in these homes are “barely 20” and collectively have over 14 million followers.

The concept began as a group chat and grew exponentially after creatives saw how people flocked to their pages when they saw them hanging out with their equally famous peers. 35 of them now live between the two homes.

Dorsey shared that one way they can capitalize off of their followiings is by doing advertisements. He says “someone who has 500,000 followers who can get 200,000 views per post could make anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 for each ad.”

Things are changing for Black people who understand social media—and it’s about time.

Read Girls United’s interview with Durell Smylie, AKA Mr. Where the Money Reside.

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