What is #BlackOutDay?
“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. We want to show that Black History is happening today, right now. That we are all Black History.”
During the last week of Feb 2015, T’von Green, formerly known on tumblr as “expect-the-greatest”, had a simple idea for a day of selfies within ‘black tumblr’. Marissa Rei (or “Mars” for short) named the movement “The Blackout” and it grew into an online movement that exploded on March 6th 2015, almost a week after the original idea was posted. With contributions from the Black members of the tumblr community, including the third member of the team nukirk, the hashtag movement spilled over to all social media networks, the loudest being Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Always forward thinking, we were able to keep the narrative of #BlackoutDay alive and well.
Now, this celebration of Black pride, beauty and personal achievements is a 24 hour online event, held every three months.
This site is to help keep the movement on target by establishing principals and help maintain the original focus.
What is #TheBlackout
#TheBlackout is the original hashtag of the movement and now serves as the name of the team behind #BlackoutDay. The name is also use as an alternative hashtag from #BlackoutDay and #Blackout.
From March 2015 to January 2016, the team consisted of the three original creators: Marissa Rei, who has taken on leadership of the movement, T’von Green, who contributed the original selfie day idea, and nukirk, the curator being WhatWhitesWillNeverKnow, who served as the host of the first #BlackoutDay promotion, runs visual promotions and serves as the promoter on most of the social networks.
T’von Green retired from the project after the December 2015 and is acknowledged as a legacy member.
The current active team members are Marissa Rei and nukirk.
What inspired #BlackoutDay?
The lack of representation and celebration of everyday black people in mainstream spaces such as movies and television, and the need to create a positive space in which black people could feel welcomed and beautiful.
How did the logo/artwork come about?
nukirk saw a post directed to chescaleigh and thought that the movement needs “promo material”. What started as a minor contribution grew into something more, to the point where he decided to make other logos for other social networks and helped “fan the flames”.
The first released logos, now known as the “Social Media Promo Logos” (Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Vine and Instagram), were released to the public by nukirk to help promote and spread the movement.
As of March 3, 2015, in addition to the 5 SM logos, there are now logos for YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest, bringing the total to 8. (Link to hi-res logos)
In 2016, we commissioned Temitayo “Tayo” Fayemi to help with an identity / brand logo for the movement. The current logo, featured on this site and our promotional material, helps keep the movement true to its original roots, as we feel the movement belongs to everyone.
With the current logo now in use, we retired the SM logos, but still encourage the use of them.
How was the hashtag decided?
After Blkoutqueen/MarissaRei suggested #TheBlackout and the movement gained traction on tumblr, the tag that was placed on the original promos by nukirk was #BlackoutDay (a “happy” accident). #Blackout remains the most popular tag on Tumblr and Instagram while #BlackOutDay is the tag with the most traffic on Twitter.
What are the “official hashtags”?
We recognize #TheBlackout and #BlackoutDay and #Blackout as the official tags.
It’s suggested to spell it out without the spaces to help increase visibility.
How can I take part on #BlackoutDay?
If you’re identify as Black, either from Africa or from within the African Diaspora, mixed (or part) Black, you can post up yourself for others to admire and reblog/retweet/repost. You’ll tag or mention #Blackoutday, #TheBlackout, or #Blackout for it to count. You’ll scroll through the tag and reblog, retweet or repost other photos within that tag to help support.
If you are not Black, non-Black People of Color or White, you’re just reblogging what’s in the tags to show your support. Tumblr’s tagging system works differently from other social media networks, so please look refer to here:
Also, look for people with low notes and show them some love as well.
Should I refrain from posting my pictures on #BlackoutDay if I’m not Black?
We’re not asking you to modify your behavior on any social media networks (especially Tumblr). You can continue using them as you see fit. We’re simply asking that you do not tag/mention your posts with #TheBlackout or #BlackoutDay, or #Blackout.
Can I post pictures of my favorite celebrities (or people that are not related to me)?
For this day, we’re asking that you do you. No celebrities or famous people (Unless they post up pictures of themselves and tag it. Then it’s all fair game.) We’re trying to give “regular people” a chance to shine. (Yes, this request applies to the corporations and media as well. Put your staff up instead!)
You’re not limited to photos and selfies. You can do GIFs or Videos (any span). Just make sure it’s originally created by you (or for you), featuring you (or you and your friends). Self-portrait artwork? Acceptable as well. Original Characters are welcome as well (as long as you made them).
I do not own the pictures, but I would like to post pictures of my friends.
Some people may view #BlackoutDay as a chance to reach out to other Black people. If you’re not the original owners, it might be viewed as misleading.
Also, it’s possible that this tactic, though thoughtful, can be mistaken for something else. If you still wish to partake, use your own discretion.
If you don’t know the person, refrain from posting them. It can lead to more trouble than it’s worth.
I participated before and I didn’t get as much notes as everyone else!
We are sorry to hear that. We are taking steps to educate people about the movement, but there’s only so much we can do on our end. There are things to consider to get your numbers up. Here’s a post with a few suggestions from a Tumblr user (link to original post)
Remember, every time someone posts in the tag, it helps push the tag up, making it popular. With that said, people are going to be overlooked. But keep trying… This day is about celebrating, not competition!
When you say “part-Black” does this mean “mixed race” or “biracial”?
This is probably one of the most controversial questions regarding this event.
If you are bi-racial and/or mixed race and identify as black on a day to day basis, awesome. If you do not identify as Black or if you use your Blackness only as a convenience, then maybe this may not be a good look for you.
You should be comfortable in your skin before taking this on and no one should pressure you into doing so. You’re free to jump in when you’re good and ready.
Is this a “Tumblr Exclusive” event? And how do we get info outside of Tumblr?
It’s not! The team is present on multiple platforms and will monitor and cheer on the event. We have channels on
- Tumblr – http://tumblr.theblackout.org
- Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/theblckout
- Instagram – http://instagram.com/officialblackoutday
- Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/Hashtagblackoutday
We do not have official channels on Google+ or YouTube and we never opened a Vine account, so we do not monitor those.
Special Note for Facebook, Google+ and Twitter: you need to make your posts public in order for everyone to see them. Otherwise, only your inner circle will notice. This is not to refrain you from partaking, but your results won’t go too far.
Is this a social/political movement?
Some may think it is. Others may think that it isn’t. We say it’s both.
Will be people protesting the day by bombing the tags with irrelevant and maybe explicit images?
There are forces that will want to spoil this event/hashtag with protests ranging from complaining to the extreme.Our advice is the following:
If you see someone using the tags and they post something not related, click on ignore (or scroll right past them or block). If you see a blog (or account) that was created purposely to spam the tag, report them.
If you allow anonymous asks, you might want to take that off for the day. You might also want to disable “submits” so you don’t get pictures… or other things… that you didn’t ask for.
Also, do not talk about the blog(s) that are doing this. Don’t reblog posts about them. Don’t anger people. Basically, don’t give them ANY shine whatsoever. They just want to cause this chaos. People are going to hate regardless, so don’t let it stop you. The people who want to do this are in the minority, anyway.
We have volunteers that are willing to lend a hand to make sure the tags stay clear of explicit images and there’s a master list circulating to block known offenders beforehand.
Tumblr has a “block” feature and made it so that you can prevent those that want to harass you from interacting with your blog and it’s content. Be sure to utilize it if you feel unsafe. If you are participating on another platform, be sure to look into their blocking feature and harassment policies as well.
I find this unfair as you’re only asking Black people to participate in this.
There are other days/events that were made by other folks to celebrate their respective races and cultures.
If you’re inspired to make your own “spin off”… by all means do so. Just don’t try to co-opt it with our movement and use #_____OutDay. We find that it is disrespectful to take something created specifically for black people and make it a fill-in the blank. That’s all we’re asking.
To our non-black friends that take offense to this please note that a positivity movement meant to uplift black people is what it sounds like. Love for ourselves does not equal hate for everyone else. We are pretty sure you’ll survive.
If you don’t like it, you can block the tag from showing.
For Tumblr, can I use the tag if I’m reblogging pictures?
It is safe to reblog and tag pictures with the official tags. Only original posts will be seen when the tags are searched. As long as you refrain from mentioning #BlackoutDay or #TheBlackout anywhere on your original posts, you should be safe.
Can I make my pictures sexy?
Grown and sexy, sure. Edgy? Well… we suggest being tactful. Be mindful that there are people under 18 that will be searching for photos to reblog or look at. We’re pretty sure you can pull off a look, but let’s try to keep it as clean and non-sexual as possible.
I’m under 18. Can I participate?
Yes! However, as we are suggesting to the adults, we’re informing you to make your pictures tasteful and free of sexual suggestiveness. Reason being is that anything otherwise can be counted as child pornography in a court of law.
Laws are laws and we don’t want anyone in trouble.
If you’re under 13, best hit up parents or guardians and let them post on your behalf.
I own a tumblr/blog that promotes porn/soft porn, can I participate?
No! You’re not allowed to participate in this event!
Some bloggers do not want their pictures on a porn or fetish blog as they will be mistaken associated with it. So, you’re not allowed to reblog. Yes, even if you have a disclaimer. If your blog’s material/theme is consist of mostly of porn, refrain from partaking on this day/hashtag.
I’m from the Media/Press. How can I get in touch with you about this event?
While we accept interview requests, here are a few things to keep in mind.
To prevent spamming, the best way to contact us with immediate concerns would be via Twitter to our Twitter account, via our official Tumblr account. If you have a more extensive interview request, you can email us at team[at]theblackout.org and we’ll get back to you ASAP.
We’re available for live interviews with advanced notice.
How often is this event going to run?
From March 6th, 2016, we run the Call to Action every three months:
- March 6th (anniversary!)
- June 6th
- Sept. 6th
- Dec. 6th
In 2015, this was our recognized dates:
- March 6th
- April 3rd
- June 21st
- Sept 21st
- December 21st
Are there any “official accounts” for this hashtag/event?
Before March 6, 2015 there were no official accounts and all material were hosted on nukirk’s blog, whatwhiteswillneverknow.com
However, the day of the event, parody accounts popped up. So, we have taken official accounts as well as this website to help centralize the movement.
Beyond the ones mentioned here, there are no other official accounts. Any accounts claiming to be run by #TheBlackout team are fraudulent and should be reported to us so we can take action on removing them.
Do the co-creators make announcements for #BlackOutDay/#TheBlackout outside of their official channels?
Because it’s part of our lives, we do and that’s a bad habit. 🙂
However, keep in mind that while we may run the movement, we are also individuals. If you have questions about #BlackoutDay, it’s best to reach to us as a team first via the official accounts first.
However, this is a guideline, not a rule written in stone.
They will try to be mindful and post announcements up on the official accounts first.
Interview requests must go through the channels UNLESS it’s for personal, non-related #BlackOutDay interviews.
Some people are using the tags and it’s not #BlackoutDay.
Our scheduled days are sort of our “Break the Internet days”. They are chosen to make really big waves across all our platforms and to create buzz. People are totally free to use the tags every day! However, we do ask that you treat the tag with the same respect, no matter when you use it.
I have a question that isn’t answered here!
Thank you for your interest, we are currently looking to prioritize and promote black-owned businesses. You can email us at team(at)theblackout.org (replace (at) with @) if you are interested in creating a business partnership.