The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Why #BlackOutDay took over social media

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It began on Tumblr and spilled over onto Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and beyond: #BlackOutDay, a day to showcase black beauty in all of its manifestations.

“In a show of community and solidarity, for those 24 hours, we are exclusively posting and reblogging pics, gifs, videos, selfies, etc. of Black people,” Tumblr user incogneeco wrote. “We want to show that Black History is happening today, right now. That we are all Black History.”

T’von came up with the concept in an effort to showcase a non-European standard of beauty. “Black History Month is always excellent, but one month isn’t enough to celebrate our heritage and our beauty,” he wrote on his Tumblr, expect-the-greatest. “No matter what your skin tone is, you’re beautiful.”

#BlackOutDay co-creator nukirk created promotional materials to help spread awareness:

T’von, who is hoping to make #BlackOutDay a monthly event, has been reposting selfies and GIFs all day. By Friday afternoon, #BlackOutDay had jumped to the top of Twitter’s trending topics in the United States, with participants posting countless images.

Tweeters also wrote about what the day meant to them and why it was important.