Today, the music industry has been summoned to participate in Blackout Tuesday in an effort to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the Black community.
And as members of the music media, we felt that it was important to articulate our thoughts on the matter at hand.
According to the two music executives leading the charge, Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang, “The Show Must Be Paused is an initiative created by two black women in the music in observance of the longstanding racism and inequality that exists from the boardroom to the boulevard… 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.”
It’s imperative to state at the beginning of this that the death of George Floyd is an unquestionable tragedy, one that should never have happened at the hands of a man that took an oath to serve and protect. Instances of police brutality against members of the Black community have gone on far too long. The anger is real. The heartache is real. The pain is real. And we MUST come alongside those that are hurting. We must actively participate in the eradication of racism, hatred, and suffering that our society is plagued with.
Blackout Tuesday is supposed to be a time to pause, reflect, and ignite a conversation about how we can move forward towards racial equality. And don’t get me wrong, reflection and conversation are long overdue, but it absolutely cannot stop there.
Posting a black square to your Instagram can not be the extent to which you show your support for the Black community, and in fact, if that’s all we do today and then tomorrow is business as usual… this entire thing is a failure.
I think social media can be an important tool to show that you care, to show that you’re listening, and to show your support, but make no mistake, racism will not be defeated on social media.
It will happen on the ground, it will happen in the neighborhoods, it will happen at the dinner table. Spending time and money sewing into the lives your black neighbors. Spending time and money sewing into the black communities in your city. People from all different backgrounds coming together, doing life together, standing side by side against racial injustice. We want to urge everyone to find meaningful ways to make an impact in their communities today. And it must be stated that it’s NEVER too late to start.
I’m always fearful that movements like this inoculate people just enough to think they’re doing something. I’m fearful that this black square will give folks (especially white folks) a sense of accomplishment and participation without actually engaging in meaningful support of their black brothers and sisters. And while we choose to stand in solidarity with those that are hurting today, and everyday, we do so with the aforementioned caveats in our hearts and minds. So we’ll say it once again, please don’t let it stop there.
That being said, a majority of our normal content will be paused today, however we find it even more important to continue the conversation. We will continue to shine a light on the encouraging stories that need to be told, amplifying voices that need to be heard, and directing our content to lift up and inspire others into action.