"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin
#TheShowMustBePaused. That's the hashtag making the rounds online, as protests continue across the nation. Last week, Minnesota man George Floyd died in police custody. An officer who was recorded kneeling on his neck has since been arrested and charged with third degree murder. In a show of solidarity, the music industry is calling for a blackout tomorrow, June 2.
“As gatekeepers of the culture, it’s our responsibility to not only come together to celebrate the wins, but also hold each other up during a loss," says Jamie Oborne, owner and manager of the label Dirty Hit Records.
The blackout calls for artists and their corporate partners to take a daylong break from work and social media, and instead focus on how you can uplift the people in your community. Billboard has a helpful guide for doing just that.
Music titans like Columbia, Def Jam, Warner and Universal have joined the effort, and the latter took to Instagram to show solidarity with the artists speaking out against oppression. In an impassioned speech that has since gone viral, rapper Killer Mike called upon all of us to "plan, organize and mobilize" against racism.
"It is your duty not to burn your own house down for anger with an enemy," he said. "It is your duty to fortify your own house so that you may be a house of refuge in times of organization."
A mural for George in Minneapolis