This weekend saw the most recent installment of Tumblr's #BlackoutDay.
Tumblr user T'von ( expect-the-greatest) first created Blackout Day in an effort to increase the presence and appreciation of black people online and on social media.
"I got inspired to propose Blackout day after thinking “Damn, I’m not seeing enough Black people on my dash”. Of course I see a constant amount of Black celebrities but what about the regular people?"
"I thought about the tag #Black Friday, and making it a tradition on the first Friday of every month, because celebrating the beauty of Blackness is of the UTMOST importance. I’m really sick and tired of seeing the “European standard of beauty” prevail. It’s past time for the beauty of Black people to be showcased. I love all people of color, but this here is for us."
Originally March 6th, 2015, #BlackOutDay quickly became a top trending hashtag in the US. Pictures, vines, selfies, and videos of black women, men, transgender, all body types and shades were quickly uploaded to Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Vine, and Facebook. The day, a 24 hour celebration of black and brown people, had quickly become a point of unity for young "black tumblr" and "black twitter".
It's just a bunch of kids posting selfies, right? Why is this important?
Representation. Being a regular tumblr user myself, the sight is heartwarming. Selfies of black young men and women often come with small anecdotes about how they had never felt comfortable posting an image of themselves online where the act is common place for young people. Many times these young black men and women felt unappreciated or had been told black people were unattractive. After seeing confident, beautiful people of all shapes and sizes on social media, some that looked like them, they felt reassured and noted that #BlackoutDay helped them to accept their own beauty. It isn't rare to see a selfie of a young individual with similar words and tears of joy and subtle apprehension under the hashtag.
Starting as a 'first friday of the month event', Blackout Day has continued to evolve. The original blog has evolved into a movement of its own touting the unity and apprecation of black people as its banner. A new schedule aimed at consolidating posts across social media arose "Blacking out" the first day of each season this year. Get ready for #TheBlackOut coming in 2015 and get those selfies ready! Black is Beautiful!
"Like books and black lives", Representation matters.
- Color the Future. T'von ( expect-the-greatest), creator of BlackOutDay, speaks his piece. http://colorthefuture.org/post/112564471328/tvon-expect-the-greatest-creator-of
- Bring it Love. HI! Tomorrow, March 6 is Blackout Day!!. 2015-03-05. http://bring-it-love.tumblr.com/post/112824723279/hi-tomorrow-march-6-is-blackout-day