If you scrolled through Instagram Tuesday, you probably noticed something big missing: photos.
The black squares many users posted are in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter protests after the death of George Floyd. Instead of posting what users usually do such as dance videos, fashion, and music, people all across the world used their platform to not stay silent and to raise their voices about the Black Lives Matter movement.
According to Instagram, the hashtag “Blackout Tuesday” was posted over 28 million times during the protest on Tuesday. Many encouraged their followers to donate to organizations that support the Black Lives Matter movement, sign petitions, get educated, and vote.
Music executives Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang first devised the Blackout Tuesday effort for the music industry, calling it “The Show Must Be Paused.” In a letter to their followers, Thomas and Agyemang said the initiative was created “in observance of the long-standing racism and inequality that exists from the boardroom to the boulevard.”
“The music industry is a multi-billion dollar industry,” the executives stated. “An industry that has profited predominately from Black art.”
Creators of The Show Must Be Paused said their “mission is to hold the industry at large, including major corporations and their partners who benefit from the efforts, struggles, and successes of Black people accountable.”
The movement also encouraged artists to not hold dance classes, listening parties, or any fan parties in response. Major music companies such as Sony Music, Capitol Records, and Warner Music Group suspended all business yesterday.
Spotify was also among music businesses that paused playlists for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the amount of time George Floyd was knelt on before he died.
“This is not just a 24-hour initiative,” Thomas and Agyemang added. “We are and will be in this fight for the long haul.” You can visit theshowmustbepaused.com for more information on the initiative.
Blackout Tuesday was an initiative to go silent on social media and reflect on recent events and the murders of George Floyd, Ahmuad Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless other Black citizens at the hands of police. Although it was originally launched by members of the music industry, it was quickly adopted by millions of everyday people across the country, as well as the dance community, standing in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.