How did the 'Blackout Tuesday' social media initiative come about?

Pioneered initially by the music industry, ‘Blackout Tuesday’ is way of identifying with George Floyd protesters and focusing on how the music business can become more accountable to the black communities.

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¿Qué es y cómo se vive el 'Blackout Tuesday' en redes sociales?

Blackout Tuesday is a day promoted by activists to observe, mourn and bring about policy change in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

The #BlackOutTuesday (also known as the #TheShowMustBePaused) initiative was pioneered initially by the music industry via Atlantic Records' Jamila Thomas and Platoon’s Brianna Agyemang who formerly worked at Atlantic. They stated: “The music industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. An industry that has profited predominantly from Black art. Our 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 momentum quickly gathered and soon had the support of other multi-international and independent music labels on board with head of Sony Music International, Rob Stringer adding: "As it relates to Blackout Tuesday, Sony Music’s observance must be meaningful. We are dedicating the day to education, reflection, and action in support of, and solidarity with, the Black community. I know all of your teams have been busy planning a range of activities—from town halls to breakout sessions to conversations with artists, organizers, and movement leaders.

1237757975BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 31: Graffiti in memory of George Floyd by Italian street artist TVBoy on May 31, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. The death of an African-American man, George Floyd, at the hands of police in Minneapolis has sparked violent protests across the USA.

Universal support

Head of Universal Music Lucian Grainge issued a statement claiming: "Everything — raising our voices in Congress, providing additional employee education and assistance, enhancing our philanthropy, using the power of our astonishingly vast catalogue to effect change — everything will be on the table. The systemic nature of the problems are just too critical to leave anything off."

People from across the global creative industry were quick to support the drive from the likes of film-maker Spike Lee, Apple Music, promoters Live Nation through to global superstars such as Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Radiohead, Beyonce and Mancunian rockers New Order (to name just a few) with the world of sport also adding their voice to the initiative. 

Provoke accountability

Social media profiles will be shrouded in darkness with organizers anxious that the day represents “a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with our community” through “an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change".

George Floyd protests: live coverage

You can follow live coverage of the protests over the killing of George Floyd here.