Blackout day is being recognized all over the country today. What is blackout day? It is a tri-monthly call to action celebrating all black people from Africa and from anywhere within the African diaspora. It occurs every 6th day of each third month, March, June, September and December. This time it comes just a day after a South Carolina judge declared a mistrial in Michael Slager’s murder trial.
Slager is a former North Charleston, S.C. police officeer who was caught on camera shooting Walter Scott five times in the back, while Scott ran away from him. Many people thought this was an open-and-shut case, but as with nearly all officer-involved shootings of African Americans, the officer was not convicted.
One of the juror’s could not find the officer guilty. This juror was quoted as saying:
I still cannot convict the defendant. At the same time my heart does not want to tell the Scott family that the man who killed [Walter Scott] … is innocent. But with the choices, I cannot and will not change my mind.
Video courtesy of TheBlackout.org.
We Must Not Normalize The Murdering of Black Men
This scene is becoming too familiar, too normal, to hit us as it should. Black men are murdered by police far moreo often than white men and officers, almost uniformly, are not held responsible for their actions. This blackout day seemingly felt like it had weighted us more heavily and made it difficult to participate in a celebration.
On Twitter, the hashtag #BlackoutDay is trending and people of color are sharing images, videos and thoughts about blackness. The struggle for equality doesn’t get a day off, though many of us wish the seemingly endless battle would show signs of waning.
Blackout day, while a serious call to action, is about showing people of color showing their beauty doing every day things and wearing every day clothes. Black Americans are proudly countering their being depicted in a negative light constantly in the media and it is beautiful.
If you haven’t yet, get on Twitter and scroll through this amazing display of the undying power of people or share your own images of black beauty. The struggle continues and we don’t need to look like we’re beaten.