Amidst protests sweeping across America, Latino celebrities J.Lo, Daddy Yankee, Sofia Vergara, and more participated in the movement.
If you’re an active user on Instagram, the preeminent photo-sharing app in Zuckerburg’s social media empire (Facebook, Whatsapp), it’s likely you observed and even joined the movement on Tuesday. While it visually took form via black squares flooding your feed, the purpose of the initiative was to collectively stand in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement in wake of the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many other victims of racially-charged police brutality.
The movement has taken many names, most predominately #BlackOutTuesday and #TheShowMustBePaused, and traces back to two executives at Atlantic Records, Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang.
“The music industry is a multibillion dollar industry, an industry that has profited predominantly from Black art. Our mission is to hold the industry at large, including major corporations + their partners who benefit from the efforts, struggles and successes of Black people accountable.”Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang (via New York Times)
Evidently, the initiative morphed and expanded far beyond those in the music industry, and was met with criticism regarding the execution of its message despite its progressive intentions. Notably, R&B singer-songwriter Kehlani took to Twitter with concerns of the social media blackout inhibiting the spread of vital information.
The creators, operating under the Instagram account @TheShowMustBePaused, followed up with the statement that “the purpose was never to mute ourselves,” but rather “to disrupt”. Meanwhile, Black influencers and advocates are pushing for less black squares and more usable content, urging people to use the platform to spread educational resources and calls to action.