As of many of you know a couple Fridays ago, March 6th, all of the internet’s black kings and queens broke the internet by participating in the very first Blackout Day. The concept of Blackout Day was quite simple and brilliant in my opinion. The movement originated on Tumblr, and it was a call to black people to post selfies/pictures of themselves to bring awareness and appreciation to black beauty. I saw mentions of the movement the Monday before it was planned to take place and I thought, just like many other Tumblr originated movements, it was a nice concept but I was skeptical of how successful it would actually turn out.
I saw the first posts for Blackout Day around 1AM on Tumblr. The posts that I saw were from all parts of the country and they were receiving lots of love. Without thinking much of it, I decided to post a few selfies of myself in the spirit of the “holiday” before I went to bed. I woke up the next morning, checked social media networks, and realized that Blackout Day was much more impactful than I imagined it would be. There were selfies everywhere! Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, and even Facebook! After my initial wave of shock I became so excited because it was so refreshing to see black people come together on such a powerful platform on social media.
I think the part that I really loved about Blackout Day was the extreme amount of diversity that was shown. Almost every single representation of black beauty was present throughout different social networks. I think too often the media tries to address or “appreciate” black beauty and the image of black beauty that ends up being portrayed represents a minority within the black community. It was extremely comforting to see black beauties with darker skin and coarser/kinkier hair because there’s definitely a lack of representation within the media.
Not only did Blackout Day address the controversy surrounding physical aesthetics like skin color and hair texture, but it highlighted differences within the black community that always aren’t so evident. There was a large representation of black people within the LGBTQ community and black people with mental, physical, and/or emotional disabilities. This aspect of Blackout Day was touching because it showed progress in areas of the black community that aren’t necessarily talked about or considered taboo.
All in all, Blackout Day was an inspiring event and I hope the appreciation of black beauties doesn’t just stop there.