What do you do when you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired? Take a time out and pause. And that’s exactly what two Black women are urging all of us to do as part of a movement being referred to as Blackout Tuesday.
Created by music executives Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang, #BlackoutTuesday was spearheaded to cease normal business operations and “business as usual” on Tuesday while Black lives are at stake.
“We are tired and can’t change things alone,” said Agyemang in an Instagram post about the #theshowmustbepaused initiative. “This is a call to action for those of us who work in music/entertainment/show business to pause on Tuesday, June 2nd because the show can’t just go on as our people are being hunted and killed.”
But what started as a movement just for the music business has transformed into collective fury, causing individuals, celebrities and businesses alike to participate in the movement.
In a letter explaining the effort posted to their official site, Thomas and Agyemang said Blackout Tuesday is “in observance of the long-standing racism and inequality that exists from the boardroom to the boulevard.”
“We will not continue to conduct business as usual without regard for Black lives,” Thomas and Agyemang wrote continued. “Tuesday, June 2 is meant to intentionally disrupt the work week.”
Still, Blackout Tuesday hasn’t come without its critiques. With some on social media saying that it’s not the best day for a black out, since many states around the country are holding primary elections, others are critiquing the use of the #blacklivesmatter hashtag, which causes much-needed information about the movement to be buried on social media.
R&B singer Kehlani explained what’s happening on Instagram.
“When you check the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag, it’s no longer videos, helpful information, resources, documentation of the injustice, it’s rows of black screens,” she wrote.