Blackout Tuesday: What the black squares on social media represent

If you didn't know, the words Blackout Tuesday has been trending on social media. The words, that maybe don't mean much at first glance, are packed with meaning and represent a movement that is burning in the hearts of many, especially now.


Blackout Tuesday is a movement that has caught massive traction in the last week. This comes after a man by the name of George Floyd died after a police officer knelt down on his neck for a number of minutes during an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota on 25 May. 


The officer wasn't arrested until protests turned violent on 29 May. Not only had America been burning for four days but thousands had been arrested.


Everyone, regardless of who they are and where they come from, has since been able to make a choice and stand together in solidarity against the injustice.

BLACKOUT TUESDAY: WHAT DOES IT STAND FOR? 


The black squares have been posted in huge numbers on social media and have been created and passed along by activists all around the world. From ordinary people to celebrities, the world has mourned the death of Floyd and those like him, who have lost their lives under similar circumstances.  


Sometimes you will see a black square, other times you will be able to see the words #BlackLivesMatter if you look closely. Most times though, the post is accompanied by the hashtag #BlackoutTuesday. 


According to the Telegraph, the idea is to fill social media with black squares, freeing up the time for people to educate themselves on the Black Lives Matter movement.


Organisers behind the movement have asked people to: 

  1. Post a picture of a black square on their social media account

  2. Mute their account for the day[*]Use the time they would otherwise be on social media to educate themselves on Black Lives Matter

Some South Africans have stood in solidarity against the injustice which took place in America but it's not new to us. We have too experienced the death of citizens by force. 


Collins Khosa was allegedly killed by SANDF soldiers in April at his home in Alexandra — allegedly for being in possession of a beer. Both cases mentioned resulted in two people losing their lives to the hands of authoritative brutality.

#BLACKLIVESMATTER


Apart from Blackout Tuesday and what it stands for, Black Lives Matter (BLM) is an international human rights movement, originating in the African-American community, that campaigns against violence and systemic racism towards black people. 


It regularly holds protests speaking out against police killing black people, and broader issues such as racial profiling, police brutality, and racial inequality in the United States criminal justice system. 


The phrase "All Lives Matter" sprang up as a response to the Black Lives Matter movement but has been criticised for dismissing or misunderstanding the message.