On Tuesday, June 2nd, musicians and music companies throughout the world are participating in “Blackout Tuesday,” a movement started to raise awareness of the “Black Lives Matter” organization.
Protests have been taking place in cities across the United States, as well as other parts of the world, as a response to the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis in late May.
Since the aftermath of evens in Minneapolis, grass roots organizations like “Black Live Matter” that have already been fighting for systemic change have accelerated their efforts and exposure.
Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemany, two black women in the music industry, started the movement that is encouraging music and orgainzations in the music industry to be silent for one day. By not posting on social media and pausing or postponing live shows, the purpose of the “blackout” is to allow time and space to have conversations about how we can support the black community.
The music industry, and particularly American music as a whole, has benefited invaulably from black music, and the founders of this movement hope to shine light on the industry and the executives that profit exorbitantly from the creativity of black artists.
American music is rich with black roots, from the likes of Louis Armstrong and the jazz musicians from the early 20th century in New Orleans, to arguably the founder of rock and roll, Chuck Berry. Jazz, gospel, and R&B led to the rock greats, most notably the Beatles and Rolling Stones who literally repackaged black music in the 1960s and served it back to America.
The list goes on and on — through the soul groups of the 60s, the dance and disco groups in the 70s, solo artists including Michael Jackson, Prince, and Whitney Houston peaking in the 80s, to the superstar pop and rap icons of the 90s and early 21st century. Black music is in the foundation of American music.
From the website “TheShowMustBePaused.com:”
“This is not just a 24 hour initiative. We are and will be in this fight for the long haul. A plan of action will be announced.
We are tired and can’t change things alone. In the meantime, to our black friends and family: please take the time for you and your mental health. To our allies, the time is now to have difficult conversations with friends, family and colleagues.”
Premier Piano Shows is participating in #BlackoutTuesday, postponing our normal Tuesday night live show until Wednesday, June 3rd, when we will be honoring black artists with a tribute to black music in America.