Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Blackout Tuesday Pauses Music for Justice

It’s been a tumultuous couple of months to say the least. First, the pandemic, which continues to wreak havoc all over the world, especially in poorer and marginalized communities. Then, yet another instance of law enforcement murdering a black man in cold blood, this time in Minneapolis. 

Since the horrific and completely unnecessary passing of George Floyd, protests have erupted from Seattle to Boston. People are pissed and they have every right to be. It’s time for America’s awful legacy of institutionalized racism to be completely gutted. The demonstrations, largely peaceful (it’s vital to note), are grabbing the spotlight and asking huge and important questions of our police, our justice system, and our very culture.

Like the pandemic, racism is all-consuming. Influential figures from authors and scholars to athletes and actors have condemned the heinous murder and supported the current installment of the uprising. The music industry is no different, unable to ignore the gravity of the situation and making big sonic waves — or deliberately not in this case — in reaction to systemic hate and the volatile police state we presently call America.

Tuesday, June 2 is now being dubbed Blackout Tuesday. Artists across the world are collectively pausing the music, so to speak, as an homage to Floyd and the larger societal problems that continue to haunt people of color especially. Industry executives Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang are credited with jump-starting the event, launching the #theshowmustbepaused campaign.

As the name suggests, day-to-day operations will be put on hold to honor the late Mr. Floyd. The entire spectrum is seemingly on board, from executives, producers, and management to artists, labels, and record stores. Big name artists from Billie Eilish to the Rolling Stones are taking part, postponing virtual shows and related activities. Quincy Jones is part of the esteemed group, tweeting heartfelt and emotional sentiments. Ariana Grande has been spotted at protests in LA while Beyonce has racked up millions of views of her Instagram video asking viewers to sign a petition on behalf of justice for Floyd.

While typical business operations will be on hold, the industry is quick to point out that it’s not a day off. Instead, the aim is to support the movement, allying with the black community and the ongoing quest for social equality. It’s a head-turning move from a music world that’s already done a lot of pivoting since the pandemic canceled tours and festivals and made performances virtual.

As the brief but moving letter details, Thomas and Agyemang hope to intentionally disrupt the workday and call attention to the long line of atrocities committed against the black community. And it’s spreading: Prominent label Interscope won’t be releasing any new music this week. Warner, Universal, Atlantic, Motown, Capitol, Island, Def Jam, and many more are doing much the same in what’s an industry-wide mic drop. You want the show to go on? Well, follow the lead of your favorite singers and bands and engage in activism, donate to worthy organizations, and call out racism when you see it. 

The realm of music, steeped in creativity and larger-than-life platforms, is the perfect place for such a thing. Many artists have already offered various sonic sketches in response to the news, like the Twin Cities’ own Dua Saleh, a talented songsmith and activist. The artist’s sobering new track features artwork with the names of those lost and proceeds from the song going to Black Visions Collective.

Look for more and more artists to ride this crucial wave as it unfolds beyond the 24 hours of Blackout Tuesday. In fact, look for it to spread across industries, into sports, food, tech, film, and beyond.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Stock
Mark Stock is a writer from Portland, Oregon. He fell into wine during the Recession and has been fixated on the stuff since…
The 10 best sci-fi movies to stream on Max right now
Max's best science-fiction movies are thrilling and exciting
Zendaya and Timothée Chalamet in Dune

Science fiction hasn't always been a genre that's accessible and popular with mainstream audiences. With the influx of streaming services such as Netflix and Max, sci-fi has become more incorporated into our movie-viewing habits outside of core franchises like Star Wars. Hardcore fans and newcomers alike will enjoy the plethora of options on the service formally known as HBO Max, and we wanted to help you sort through the list of titles available on the service. From newer releases to old classics, these are the best sci-fi movies you need to stream on Max right now.

Dune (2021)

Read more
Cigar Deal: Get $30 off La Gloria Cubana, free shipping, and 10 cigars free
La Gloria Cubana boxes from JR Cigars

If you know me, you know I like a good cigar deal. If you don't know me, well, now you know. The only thing better than a great discount on some excellent cigars is a great discount and some free cigars with it. JR Cigars is currently offering a promo dubbed La Gloria Cubana Madness, which shaves $30 off the JR Price of cigar boxes and bundles. To clarify, the retail price of a La Gloria Cubana Serie R box is $271, but the JR Price is $198, so you're already getting a great deal. This offer takes $30 off the discounted price, but that's not all you get. You'll also get free shipping, something JR doesn't offer regularly. Even better, you'll get ten free cigars included, as well. Wowzers.

 
Why you should shop JR's La Gloria Cubana Madness sale

Read more
Wolves Whiskey crafts classic American-made whiskeys with complex, unique flavor
What makes Wolves Whiskey so good? We find out
Wolves Whiskey bottles being adorned with labels

If you like your whiskey old-school, Wolves Whiskey is for you. It's American-made, distilled right in California, and represents a throwback to the classic standards of spirit craftsmanship. Aptly put, the brand claims it "alchemizes the old into the new." You pretty much have to hear the brand's process to believe it, but it's the truth, as resident interviewer Dan Gaul discovered during a candid talk with the brand's Operations Manager and Head Blender, Eduardo Gonzalez.

An Interview with Wolves Whiskey: The Story Behind the Craft Distillery

Read more