Blackout Tuesday: Protest against George Floyd’s death spreads far beyond music

June 2, 2020

ick Jagger, LeBron James and Tiffany Trump are among those filling social media with black boxes, messages of support and calls to donate to civil rights organizations.

“Blackout Tuesday” began as a music industry protest to George Floyd’s death in police custody, which has led to protests worldwide. But the initiative has spread well beyond record labels and musicians, with actors, sports teams and even the president’s daughter Tiffany Trump joining in.

Music executives Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang spearheaded the effort, creating a website urging supporters to “take a beat for an honest, reflective and productive conversation about what actions we need to collectively take to support the black community.”

Numerous large music labels, as well as iconic musicians such as Peter Gabriel and Mick Jagger, joined the initiative, sharing the message on social media with the hashtag #TheShowMustBePaused

“It is heartbreaking to see America tearing itself apart again over issues of race,” Rolling Stones frontman Jagger tweeted Monday. “Tomorrow I stand with my fellow artists and observe Blackout Tuesday to combat racial discrimination and social injustice.”

The movement spread to social media, with many posting black squares on their Instagram and Facebook accounts to show support. Celebrities such as NBA star LeBron James, actor John Boyega and singer Katy Perry were among those who joined in, as did President Donald Trump’s daughter Tiffany. Singer Rihanna posted that her Fenty beauty empire wouldn’t be conducting any business on Tuesday. And Pro Football Talk reported that the Chicago Bears had canceled all player and team meetings to mark the day.

The flood of social media posts may last just a day, but organizers Thomas and Agyemang say on their site that “this is not just a 24-hour initiative. We are and will be in this fight for the long haul. A plan of action will be announced.”

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