Millions take part in #BlackOutTuesday after George Floyd's death

Published: Jun. 2, 2020 at 5:48 PM EDT
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The death of George Floyd has sparked a national conversation, with the Black Lives Matter movement at the forefront of the conversation. Their voices have been amplified through protests, marches, and now social media.

Around noontime on June 2nd, coined #BlackOutTuesday, already over 20 million people had taken part in the showing of solidarity. A simple post -- a black square with the hashtag #BlackOutTuesday. A simple idea with a powerful message.

"I think the message is that sometimes you just have to be quiet ... be still ... think about what is really going on around us in our community and nation ... and take this day as a day of reflection," Evelyn Foxx, Alachua County NAACP President, said.

The idea grew out of a pledge made by music and entertainment companies to step away from business and reconnect with their communities. The idea spread quickly beyond the music world, influencing everyone to step back from social media and take the time to educate themselves on the BLM movement and the issues surrounding Floyd's death.

While the concept #BlackOutTuesday is to essentially "black-out" social media, many people are taking it a step further.

"A lot of people who are posting are also saying things like -- here's ways you can donate money, here's ways you can be involved, here's ways you can be a part of this and not just some sort of slacktivism of posting a black picture ... but actually doing something for the community, for the environment, for society, for culture ... to try to make a difference," Andrew Selepak, Director of UF's Graduate Social Media program, said.

Activists have spoken out to remind supporters not to use the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter in their #BlackOutTuesday post ... which may seem confusing. The reason behind that is because the blank black images will clog critical channels where information and updates are posted for different group and activist projects. It's a reminder that this is all part of an ongoing movement

"I hope they are thinking that this is a day of solidarity," Foxx said, "praying for a day of solidarity to begin and hopefully tomorrow and moving forward we come together as a community, state, and nation."