Jill Louise Busby spent almost ten years in the nonprofit sector, specializing in Diversity & Inclusion. She spoke at academic institutions, businesses, and detention centers on the topics of race, power, and privilege and delivered over two hundred workshops and trainings to nonprofit organizations across the Bay Area.
One summer, fed up with the faux liberal innocence of the Pacific Northwest, Busby made a short video about race, white institutions, and the danger of intentional gradualism and posted it on Instagram. The video went viral, receiving millions of views across platforms. Over the next few years, as her pithy persona Jillisblack became an “it voice” for all things race-based, Jill began to notice parallels between the performances of “diversity” for the white corporate world and “wokeness” for her followers. Both, she realized, were scripted.
Unfollow Me is a memoir-in-essays about these scripts; about tokenism, micro-fame, and inhabiting spaces—real and virtual, black and white—where complicity is the price of admittance. Busby’s social commentary is wryly funny and achingly open-hearted as she recounts her shape-shifting moves among the subtle rules and hierarchies of “progressive” communities. Unfollow Me is a deeply personal, razor-sharp critique of white fragility (and other words for racism), respectability politics (and other words for shame), and all the places where fear masquerades as progress.