Happy Black Out Friday!

9:26 AM

I actually wanted to post about this earlier this week, but got swamped with responsibility, but it's all good. I just wanted to share with you all a little movement that's going on today that you may have noticed already on social media. Today is Black Out Day and I'm happy to be participating! Since there is a lot of misunderstanding about what is and isn't black out day, let me clarify a few facts before anyone gets confused.

Who started the Black Out ?

Black out day was started by tumblr user expect-the-greatest as a means to support diversity in the black community. He asked if we could make a day celebrating black people and black tumblr agreed. So in turn, #blackout was created, tumbled across the net, and is happening right now. Many people are turning it and saying that this is to show the media the wide diversity in our community, and I honestly feel the media will take notice.

Why is this important?

Again, it was created to celebrate the beauty of ordinary black people all around the world. We all know the celebrities that get the most shine like Beyoncé and Rihanna, but this is for the average person to see more people like them across their screen and celebrate our beauty.
Black people are not a monolithic group and do not all look, behave, believe, or live the same way across the board and our diversity is often overlooked and demeaned. So celebrating ourselves is something we need and want to do. Especially when black hairstyles are deemed more cutting edge and chic on white people, but look bad on us and compared to animals. Or when people still hold us up to all the stereotypes they see on TV. Or when little black girls are made to feel inferior by being called cunts or racial slurs for their achievements or simply existing. Or when we have our most demeaning, or "negative" photos used to prove how we are thugs and our deaths are completely justified. This tag matters because it shows us as we truly are, not only what the media portrays as.

How do I participate?

It's easy. Just find some of your best pictures and share them on social media with the hashtags #blackout #blackoutfriday #blackoutday and/or #blackoutselfie ! Once that's done, search through the tag and share the love to the other beautiful people participating by commenting, reblogging, liking, and sharing other's photos. Try to reblog/post as many people with low numbers as possible because we want everyone to be seen. As long as you identify as black, it's fine to post selfies under the before mentioned hashtags (so biracial people, afro-latinos, africans, etc). 

If I'm white, or a non black POC, can I participate?

Of course! Reblog, repost, share, and comment on posts all you want!  It's just asked that you do not participate in the tag, since it's not for you. That's like adding facts about George Bush to a black history hashtag. It just doesn't work.
Does this mean I can't take a selfie?
No, it doesn't mean you can't share your face to the world or share other non POC selfies. As long as it is not in the #blackout hash tag, you're fine!

This is racist!

Actually, it's not. There is no rule saying other racists are not allowed to love themselves, their people, or celebrate the beauty of their culture when it is not demeaning someone else's.

No other race has their own tag!

Probably because one has not been created yet. But guess what-there can be!
If you honestly feel that your race/ethnic group is under represented, then maybe you can do what expect-the-greatest did and make a call to action. There is nothing but space and opportunity before you to create a day to celebrate Asians, Hispanics, Native people, Latinos, or whatever other group you believe is under represented. So if you want to do it I encourage you to start one. Minorities as a whole are under represented in the media and are only cast in stereotypical or sideline roles. The criminal, the racial quota friend, the sexual conquest, the nerd, etc.  Making your own movement showing the diversity and beauty of your culture is great and will help to shine a light that there is more to POC than just the cookie cutter image Hollywood has molded for us.

You get your own month, now you want another day? The nerve!

First of all, shut up. If you did not know, America holds every month in the calendar year to celebrate the many different ethnic, sexual, and other minority groups that make up this country. Black History month is held in the shortest calendar month of the year, and having an official month doesn't mean we have to only celebrate blackness in February. And if we can celebrate a whole day for pancakes without getting mad, why not let us celebrate actual people?

I'm white, why can't I celebrate myself? I feel excluded.

You can celebrate yourself if you want to. No one says you can't. In fact, the world celebrates people who look like you everyday. In the covers of books and magazines. Whenever we watch TV or award shows. Everyday that we live in a world where white people are respected and revered more highly than others. Your beauty is considered the standard. We celebrate you everyday. So maybe take a moment to consider this, and think about who is really being excluded.

Why not have a day where everyone can participate, not just one race?

Then create a selfie day, if you want. Or just do that like you do everyday of the year and reblog selfies.

Why not a #whiteoutday?

From what I know, whiteoutday is going on right now and was started by bloggers who wanted to derail the movement. There are posters who made it their mission to derail blackout day by posting pictures of porn, rape, white supremacy propaganda and more to cause tension and many of these bloggers are invading the black out tag with these posts. If this weren't the original intent, my answer would be slightly different. But,  refer to the answer two questions above again, please.

Hopefully I was able to help sort things out about #blackout. I'll update this post if any other questions come up I feel need to be addressed. Also, the originator and more founders of the day are taking asks on tumblr, so if you want the an official reason on this, please turn to them for answers!

Because of the strong response to the Black Out, it has been decided that the celebration will continue on for every first friday of the month.

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