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Blackout Tuesday: Why is everyone posting black squares online?

| WNYC 93.9 FM


Today the music industry is taking a strong and surprising stance the world hasn't really seen before some of the biggest music labels in the world have decided the June second today will be known as blackout cheese day as part of an initiative called the show must be paused to executives from Atlantic Records to black women Briana Agyemang and Jimmy let Thomas started this initiative in response to the recent deaths of George Floyd Brianna Taylor Ahmad armory and other black people who've been killed by police officers so today a number of major labels and artists are stopping their everyday operations in solidarity and support and to talk systemic racism in major streaming services like Spotify apple music and YouTube music are also taking part with cancellations moments of silence and special playlists but today's blackout is also drawing some criticism we've convened a special Tuesday Q. this music panel to get into it a harmony is a freelance music journalist and critic Lisa Christiansen is a CBC arts reporter on the line from Vancouver harmony today's blackout cheese day tell us exactly what record labels are doing or not doing today Kate's house so it's unclear because a lot of the record labels that have come forward and said that they're going to participate haven't been specific about what they will or will not be doing today H. I. universal music group did mention that they're holding their releases for this week and donating to bail out funds for protesters and suggestions from the two creators of this movement have included each offer some taking a break if one has been impacted by the results of the police killings and just need a moment to green they've also suggested making financial contributions to the families of George Floyd and Brianna Taylor and are breached they've also suggested making financial contributions to protesters are connecting with leaders who are building grassroots campaigns and learning more about it to raise resources for those who want to position themselves as allies Mr from what you're saying on social media today how how widespread is this it's really everywhere it really started over the weekend it started picking up and then by yesterday I just noticed almost everything I was looking at had some kind of statement music labels blog streaming service or DJ music studios even bands now this morning there are just a lot of black squares in my feet the creators of this initiative Atlanta great Atlantic record label execs to Mila Thomas and Brenda Agyemang say today is quote a day to take a beat for an honest reflective and productive conversation about what actions we need to collectively take to support the black community harmony what are you hoping for here what conversations do you hope today's blackout might spark yes so I hope it's a day of introspection for record labels for the music industry and for everyone it's time to draw a line in the sand and speak out against police brutality and systemic racism I'm also hoping it's a day to identify aspects of music industry culture that promotes anti black racism or incubate anti back racism behind the scenes and the lives of the artist but these labels represent I think it's a data call out that org charts and critically examine how many black people are consistent power and decision making tables I'm it's a time to have those conversations but also to create a concrete action plan yes I've seen some concerns emerging today around this black out the harmony especially around people using the hash tag black lives matter what are you hearing right so I'm seeing criticism emerging emerging this morning about how performative at this camp is and how potentially dangerous it is so for instance I can close with black lives matter floods out critical information that organizes are using on the ground protesters are using the black lives matter hashtags to document what is happening on the ground in real time this year fundraising links and other resources that support the black lives matter movement and right now on Instagram if you look it's just taken over with black squares with what other criticism hearing right now well I think a lot of people very very concerned that it's just perform it is it's an easy way to not do anything at all you know it's just Hey look we are observing that and also some of the language and if you look at some of the posts is very vague we're taking some time out we're going to think so I think the only way for this day to be really successful is for those of us who have sat in meetings there needs to be some actionable items that come out of this and people need to be able to prove that they did do something that day and it wasn't just to put a square up on your social media feed

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