In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, Instagram users are letting their accounts go dark for Blackout Tuesday.
Instagram users logging in Tuesday morning (June 2) will find their feeds empty, with black squares replacing the usual melee of photos and videos as users show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement after the killings of George Floyd, Tony McDade and countless other Black people at the hands of police.
The Blackout Tuesday project began after the music industry announced it would be going silent for a day to create space for action in the wake of George Floyd’s killing.
Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang, two Black female music executives, pioneered the #TheShowMustBePaused initiative, explaining that the music industry is one that profits “predominantly from Black art”.
They explained in a statement that Tuesday “is meant to intentionally disrupt the work week”.
“Monday suggests a long weekend, and we can’t wait until Friday for change,” they said.
“It is a day to take a beat for an honest, reflective and productive conversation about what actions we need to collectively take to support the Black community.”
Sony Music, Atlantic Records, Capitol Music Group, Warner Records and Def Jam have all joined in the day of action in various ways.
Columbia said it is giving employees the day to focus on reflection and finding ways “to move forward in solidarity”. Interscope has cancelled all new music releases this week. Apple Music DJs including Zane Lowe have cancelled radio shows, while Spotify is adding an 8 minute 46 second interlude of silence to select playlists, the amount of time George Floyd was suffocated before his death.
What is Blackout Tuesday?
The Blackout Tuesday initiative sees Instagram users sharing black squares in solidarity with the movement.
Crucially, those joining in should not use the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag, which is being used by organisers and protesters to share vital information and updates. Instead, they should use the #BlackoutTuesday tag, if any.
Among those to join Blackout Tuesday are Mariah Carey, who on Sunday (May 31) shared a musical tribute to Floyd and wrote: “We have to make a change. We can’t be silent.”
Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall has also posted for Blackout Tuesday, as well Rihanna, who shared a black square to her personal Instagram account and to those of her various Fenty businesses, which will all shutter for the day.
The singer turned entrepreneur has spoken of the “devastation, anger and sadness” she’s felt since Floyd was killed.
“Watching my people get murdered and lynched day after day pushed me to a heavy place in my heart,” she added.
Trans actors Laverne Cox and Trace Lysette both shared a black square, with Lysette calling for authorities to “arrest all four ” police officers involved in Floyd’s death.
Bob the Drag Queen was among many Drag Race queens to take part in Blackout Tuesday.
Others taking part included writer Dustin Lance Black and actor Billy Eichner.