It is no secret that minorities are underrepresented, and even when they are represented, it’s usually in a negative way. The online Black community came up with a brilliant idea to put positive Black images out there.
Tumblr user expect-the-greatest came up with the idea of “Blackout Day” after growing tired of the lack of Black representation on his Tumblr dashboard. Beginning at midnight, March 6 was officially dedicated to the flooding of black selfies and positive depictions of Black people.
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? Where is their shine? When I proposed it, I thought people would think it was a good idea, but not actually go through with implementing it. Luckily people wanted to get behind the idea, and @recklessthottie created the #Blackout tag…We need a unified agreeance that ALL black people are beautiful and worthy of praise and admiration, and Blackout day is a step towards that.
As an avid Tumblr user for the past four years, I can attest to the fact that Tumblr is mostly full of images of white hipsters, “boho chic” girls, white models, and an array of white teenagers. In order to find an abundance of brown and Black people, one must consciously create a space and build a following of Black and brown users. What #Blackout is doing is putting Black images in the mainstream instead of just in uniquely Black and brown spaces online.
This obviously was met with backlash. People found it “excluding” and (no joke) “racist” that Black people wanted to dedicate a day online to celebrate their beauty and lives. There were outcries of “reverse racism” and why we don’t just dedicate it to all races, as if people of all races don’t post and have their selfies circulated every single day. There was even a “whiteout” tag created to retaliate and fight against the heinous crime that is Blackout Day. People took on the whiteout tag to speak out against the unfairness and the division that this day has created.
Thankfully, black people hijacked the whiteout tag and flooded it with their selfies.
Whatever you may think of this day, what it really comes down to is the idea of creating safe spaces for minorities. It’s not about acting like one has the right to intrude or amplify one’s voice over others’ because of some perceived oppression. It’s about humbling oneself and being smart enough to realize that just because a certain group of people choose to celebrate themselves, it doesn’t mean they’re diminishing others’ existences or stories. Nobody would complain that fathers are being neglected on Mother’s Day, so why the big fuss about this? People only want to come out and talk about everyone’s beauty and claim “we all bleed red!” when Black people want to have something for themselves. They seem to show no such concern on other days. Excuse my language, but if you have a problem with this day, then you might just be a whiny piss baby.
Beautiful selfies and images of Black people are flooding Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. This raises Black people’s self-esteem and feeling of self-worth in a world that constantly tries to remind us that we’re not beautiful or worth seeing. In light of recent events of police brutality and blatant racism, Blackout Day is the type of break that Black people need to feel validated and reminded that our lives do in fact matter. The best part is that we’re breaking the mold of “acceptable Blackness” and featuring all types of Black beauty, not just the easily digestible kind. From Black people with vitiligo, disabilities, and freckles, to all shapes and sizes, we are being unapologetically Black and loving it. This movement is not only restricted to African-Americans but all Black people in Africa and diasporas.
Show your support by sharing positive images of Black people today.
Happy Blackout Day!