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Artists, athletes, celebrities, and more take part in Blackout Tuesday

Last Updated Jun 2, 2020 at 10:37 am EDT

You’re probably wondering why your social media is full of black squares today. Artists, athletes, celebrities are taking part in what is being called ‘Blackout Tuesday’.

 

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It was a movement created by Atlantic Records Senior Director of Marketing Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang, who is a Senior Artists Campaign Manager at Platoon.

Those with platforms have said they will not post on their social media accounts today, in response to the death of George Floyd. Instead,they will use the time to educate themselves and their followers on the Black Lives Matter movement, and to reconnect with their community “through an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change.”

 

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“The music industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry,” Thomas and Agyemang said in a statement.

“An industry that has profited predominantly from Black art. Our mission is to hold the industry at large, including major corporations and their partners who benefit from the efforts, struggles and successes of Black people accountable.”

Toronto Rapper Duane Gibson has been doing this for years. He has been traveling across the country to educate children about the important black people in Canadian history who have helped make the country what it is today.

“I think it’s a really good thing that the music industry is taking an active stance towards confronting racism that is happening specifically to black people.” Gibson told CityNews.

“I think it’s really important even if you are not black at this point people are really starting to listen and are trying to be an ally and are trying to be an active part of the solution.”

His tour is called ‘Stay Driven’ but it is currently on pause because of COVID-19. When Gibson was able to go into the schools and talk about the history of black people in Canada, he also spoke about his own experiences with racism.

“I grew up as one of the only kids of colour in my community and was affected by racism,” he explained.

“There are multiple moments of racism that are happening all the time in Canada but the difference is that now people are realizing we may not have the degree of racism that you see in the United States but it is something that black people in Canada have to deal with too. Now more people are speaking up and making their voices known that is not OK.

“I know for myself as a teenager I was stopped by the police for no reason and those moments were really hard for me to process and now that I am a father and have two kids I am concerned about them whether they are in Canada or traveling to the United States. I feel as a father I have to prepare my son on how to deal with authority figures because it’s a scary world out there.”

The organizers of Blackout Tuesday are using hashtag #TheShowMustPause and have created a website with anti-black racism resources for education. They are also encouraging everyone to share their plans on how they intend to make a change when it comes to racism in our countries.

You can watch their full statement below:

 

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