A black square has flooded Instagram this morning, especially the Black Lives Matter hashtag. Thousands, if not millions, of people have joined the initiative of Black Out Tuesday started by Atlantic Records. Although the idea of leaving behind the selfies and foodie posts Instagram is normally filled with in order to amplify black voices, it doesn’t have the same impact. After various days of solidarity and fighting both on the streets and on social media, the thousands of posts reflecting police brutality towards people of colour, the manifestos written by the movement and all the posts detailing how to help and donate have disappeared. There’s just empty photos and silence.
The #BlackLivesMatter hashtag was doing tremendous social work not by informing the public of the importance, once again, of fighting for the lives of people of colour. But it also served an immediate purpose by warning and helping those protesting on the streets. Police brutality, bails that need paying and other forms of self-protection were being reported constantly. Many of this is now lost in a wave of performative activism. Thanks to social media we can share resources with great ease, it takes less than a minute to share a picture, statement or link. Let’s take advantage of that.
As white people, we have the privilege of being able to speak to a greater audience, and we must use our position to publicly to stand by our brothers and sisters of colour in solidarity. We have a platform and it is our duty to use it. Now is the moment to amplify black voices, to share information and educate both ourselves and others on racial subjects.
I don’t want to speak too much, as it is not my place to. I want to use this platform that I have to give a voice to those affected at the moment, which is why I’ll be sharing the following messages written by people of colour so that we can learn from them and support them in this cause.