If you checked your Instagram feed Tuesday, you might have noticed many accounts you follow — whether they belong to friends, or celebrities — posting black images in lieu of photos.
The gesture represents participation in Blackout Tuesday, a movement that’s encouraging people to halt social media posting for the day to take a stand against the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and other incidents of police brutality across America.
The movement follows multiple days of unrest in cities across the country that have included peaceful protests, and well as looting, arsons and clashes with police.
Who started Blackout Tuesday?
Blackout Tuesday originally started with two music industry executives who wanted to hold a day to reflect on the murders of Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and other black citizens.
“We will not continue to conduct business as usual without the regard for Black lives,” wrote Jamile Thomas and Brianna Agyemang in a Sunday night post. Their mission was to hold the music industry, which benefits from “the efforts, struggles and successes of Black people” accountable, they wrote.
Many top record labels have joined in, as well as companies closely connected to the music industry like Live Nation, TikTok and the Recording Academy. Some labels said they won’t release any new music on Tuesday, or for the rest of the week.
Chicago celebs participating
Some celebrities have logged off of social media completely, while others started posting a blank black square to their millions of followers.
Chicago artists and athletes like G Herbo, Mitch Trubisky, Jennifer Hudson, Lupe Fiasco and Taylor Bennett as well as big names like Kylie Jenner, Mick Jagger and Quincy Jones have all posted a black square to their Instagram feeds.
View this post on Instagram
#blackouttuesday Throughout my life I’ve been blessed to share the field and locker room with countless black men. These men and teammates have become family to me. Although I could never understand what they have to experience I empathize with them and love them like brothers. I stand with my brothers and sisters in the fight against racial injustices. We need to do more. We must do better. Posts, tweets, and statements aren’t enough. We need to take action. We must take the steps together to make systematic changes to prevent these evil acts from occurring. Love is stronger than hate. Peace and Unity will overcome violence. Black Lives Matter. #JusticeforGeorgeFloyd
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... When you really think about it. I really be so far ahead that it’s actually getting scary. Like it’s really really scary. Like FRFR...like some this nigga has been here before type scary. AND ITS CALLED THE GREAT AMERICAN RAP ALBUM!!!! Bruh!!!! This NIGGA IS SCARY!!!! I can promote my album and still be down for the cause...the win win...
Don’t use #BlackLivesMatter
Those participating in Blackout Tuesday by posting a black square to Instagram and other social media platforms are using the hashtags #BlackoutTuesday and #TheShowMustBePaused.
Many have also used the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag, which has been widely used as a tool for protesters to communicate information through social media. But since it’s being used during the Tuesday event alongside the black squares, some activists say it’s hindering their ability to use the hashtag as a tool to communicate important information.
stop posting black squares under the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag on Instagram. it is intentionally and unintentionally hiding critical information we are using on the ground and online. pic.twitter.com/EIS44aDXXd— y’all don’t read the room (@anthoknees) June 2, 2020
It has come to my attention that many allies are using #BlackLivesMatter hashtag w black image on insta. We know that’s it no intent to harm but to be frank, this essentially does harm the message. We use hashtag to keep ppl updated. PLS stop using the hashtag for black images!! pic.twitter.com/eG2fPaybNW— Kenidra4Humanity ~ BLACK LIVES MATTER ~ (@KenidraRWoods_) June 2, 2020
Organizers are urging Blackout Tuesday participants to stop using the #BlackLiveMatter hashtag, so people looking for information on the Black Lives Matter movement or protests organized by the group have access to that information.