The first social media Blackout Day happened back in March 2015. It was started by Tumblr user Y.R.N. He says that he began the movement when he wasn’t seeing enough Black people across his “dash.” So, to overcome this sad but true fact, he created an initiative to get more Black people to share images of themselves across platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. This event has become a regular occurrence on social media ever since. It pushes back against the erasure of Black folks, especially queer and trans folks, and demands that our images be normalized, included, and present in media every day.
Following the massacre at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina last week, the Blackout team called a special Blackout Day to support and honor those who were murdered. On Sunday, many people shared their images across social media to reclaim the space.
The events have been inspiring for many who often feel shut out of the media or who rarely see images of themselves reflected back. Follow the Official Blackout page for more updates on these events.
Photo Credit: Twitter
Jenn M. Jackson is the Editorial Assistant for The Black Youth Project. She is also the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of Water Cooler Convos, a politics, news, and culture webmag for bourgie Black nerds. For more about her, tweet her at @JennMJack or visit her website at jennmjackson.com.