On Tuesday 2nd June, you would have seen multiple black squares on your social media timeline with the #TheShowMustBePaused and #BlackOutTuesday. The movement was created by Atlantic Records music executives, Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang as a way to"internationally disrupt the work week"given that the music industry has massively "profited predominantly from Black art". The day was for honest conversations to be had about what actions must to be taken by those working in the industry to support the black community.
Some felt the message and purpose of the day was lost, due to the influx of black squares taking over the timelines resulting in the decrease of vital information about the Black Live Matter Movement taking hold across the world. Social media did what it needed to do, it rapidly spread the word but not the purpose and in doing so left some confused, annoyed and wrongly informed.
The black community must take hold of the circulation of our information to ensure that our messages are not diluted or misrepresented in the social media abyss of misinformation.
Nevertheless, #theshowmustbepaused can be seen as a success within the music industry due to the number of organisations, labels, radio stations etc, acknowledgement of the day and it's accurate meaning through the signing of unification through social media. We implore our readers to question these companies as to whether or not they stood by their posts and had their productive conversations and reflections, as more needed to be done and said yesterday than just a post, to genuinely stand with us in change.
Though at SDS we speak daily about the trials and tribulations we face as black females in this industry and those that our community face on an hourly basis, we took the day to: observe, further strategise our position as a company dedicated to helping our people globally and to 'check in' with each other whilst watching the visions of injustice, torment, distress, despair and anger from black people, whilst acknowledging our emotional responses and helplessness.
We are hopeful that the broader message delivered by Jamila and Brianna was and has been received in the way it was intended; conversations and action must continue today, tomorrow and thereafter.