Social media, music world go dark for Black Out Tuesday
NEW YORK (AP) — Though Black Out Tuesday was originally organized by the music community, the social media world also went dark in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, joining voices around the world outraged by the killings of black people in the U.S.
Instagram and Twitter accounts, from top record label to everyday people, were full of black squares posted in response to the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.
Most of the captions were blank, though some posted #TheShowMustBePaused, black heart emojis or encouraged people to vote Tuesday with seven states and the District of Columbia are hosting the largest slate of presidential primary elections in almost three months.
Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Radiohead, Coldplay, Kelly Rowland, Beastie Boys and were among the celebrities to join Black Out Tuesday on social media.
“I won’t be posting on social media and I ask you all to do the same,” Britney Spears tweeted. “We should use the time away from our devices to focus on what we can do to make the world a better place …. for ALL of us !!!!!”
Spotify blacked out the artwork for several of its popular playlists, including RapCaviar and Today’s Top Hits, simply writing “Black lives matter.” as its description. The streaming service also put its Black Lives Matter playlist on its front page, featuring songs like James Brown’s “Say It Loud — I’m Black and I’m Proud,” N.W.A.’s “(Expletive) the Police,” Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” and Childish Gambino’s “This Is America.”
The opening pages of Apple Music and iTunes focused on supporting Black Lives Matter, and SiriusXM said it will be silencing its music channels for three minutes at 3 p.m. EDT in tribute to “all of the countless victims of racism.”
The company said it “will continue to amplify Black voices by being a space where Black artists showcase their music and talents, and by carrying the message that racism will not be tolerated.”
Some on social media questioned if posting black squares would divert attention away from posts about the Black Lives Matter movement.
“this is the 4th completely different flyer i’ve seen for it,” Grammy-nominated singer Kehlani tweeted about Black Out Tuesday. “”this is the only one without the saying go completely silent for a day in solidarity. the messages are mixed across the board and i really hope it doesn’t have a negative effect.”