SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Black square after black square was posted on Instagram Tuesday after artists, performers and musicians joined in a social media blackout to protest the death of George Floyd, Brionna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and other blacks at the hands of the police.
Music executives Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang started the movement and made the intent of the blackout clear in an open letter on Twitter, saying the multi-billion dollar music industry profits from black people and needs to be held accountable. It must protect and empower the “black communities that have made them disproportionately wealthy in ways that are measurable and transparent.”
Thomas and Agyemang invited everyone to participate and symbolically post a blank black square on June 2 on their social media feeds and use the hashtag #TheShowMustBePaused.
— theshowmustbepaused (@pausetheshow) June 1, 2020
“It is a day to take a beat for an honest reflective conversation about what actions we need to collectively take to support the Black community,” wrote Thomas and Agyeang.
Since Tuesday morning, Instagram has been flooded with black squares. The day was chosen to deliberately disrupt the work week.
Labels including Def Jam Recordings, Sony Music, Columbia Records as well as artists, such as Quincy Jones, Billy Eilish and others are participating.
The sports world has joined in solidarity, with Steph Curry and LeBron James among the basketball superstars who posted black squares on Instagram.
By 11 a.m. on Tuesday, more than 20 million people had posted squares with the hashtag #blackouttuesday. Organizers were asking people not to use the hashtag for Black Lives Matter so as not to obscure important posts about other protests still going on across the country.
There are links on ways to get involved and more informatio on their website https://www.theshowmustbepaused.com/.
CBSSF.com writer, producer Jan Mabry is also executive producer Bay Sunday, Black Renaissance and host of Black Renaissance. She lives in Northern California. Follow her on Twitter @janmabr.