It's rare that selfies serve a noble cause, but #BlackOutDay, currently trending on Twitter, aims to do just that. Initiated by Tumblr user Y.R.N., the campaign has a simple goal: getting more black faces to show up in your feed. "Of course, I see a constant amount of black celebrities," Y.R.N. explained. "But, what about the regular people?... Black History Month is always excellent, but one month isn’t enough to celebrate our heritage and our beauty. No matter what your skin tone is, you’re beautiful."
The hashtag simply invites users to share selfies, gifs, videos, and the like — all of black people — on social media channels. It's an inclusive campaign that urges people of all races and skin tones to reblog, retweet, and regram these images in a show of solidarity.
For all its celebratory spirit, BlackOutDay points out an unsettling dearth of diversity on every other day of the year. The face of mainstream media is white, and of course it will take a lot more than a hashtag to untangle the deep roots of racism, both on and offline. But, something as basic as sharing images of black people en masse is all the more impactful for how easy it is to participate — and how fast it can grow.
Clicking around today, it's both simple and stunning to see the difference in the landscape of social media. Let's not forget that when we log on tomorrow.