Since May 2020, avatars and content began to appear on the TikTok social network, one way or another related to the theme of the black fist (Black Power fist). This is an international flash mob, the participants of which wanted to support black bloggers. Many TikTok users have noticed that the moderators of the social network are actively removing videos that condemn racism. At the same time, no one was in a hurry to punish fair-skinned tiktokers who offended African Americans with their behavior or statements. A black fist raised up is a symbol of solidarity, equality and a positive attitude towards representatives of another race.
Why do people choose to fight injustice on TikTok?
At the end of 2019, a very interesting article was published on the NetzPolitik.org website. It talked about limiting the reach of TikTokers, who could be subjected to bullying and angry comments. The shadowban includes people with a non-traditional orientation, bloggers with disabilities, as well as users with a non-standard appearance.
Representatives of TikTok did not deny and admitted that they really used such a measure. True, they insisted that it was a way to protect people from bullying and harassment. Naturally, the fighters against inequality were not satisfied with this answer.
Black Fist: some historical facts
The black fist is by no means a new symbol of freedom and the fight against injustice. As early as 1914, the anarchist magazine Mother Earth called the clenched fist “a symbol of social revolution.”
The history of the appearance of the black fist is also associated with the Rot Front gesture, which became actively spread in the 30s of the last century. A hand with a clenched fist turned away from itself was depicted as a protest against fascism. The gesture symbolized the unity of the workers of all countries and called on people to fight for the International.
Sculpture “Rot Front” in the Salaspils Memorial
Clenched fists in protest against racism began to be demonstrated after the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. The event’s prize-winners, African-American track and field athletes, displayed the symbol while playing the United States national anthem.
Interestingly, the meaning of the clenched fist depends on what other graphic elements it is combined with. For example:
The black fist is a sign that began to be actively used in the Black Panther Party. This is a group of black people who fought for equal economic and social rights in the 60s and 70s of the last century. The black fist was also in demand among representatives of northern soul music.
Black Fist in 2020
Lex Scott, the founder of the Black Lives Matter social movement in Utah, decided to launch the Black Fist flash mob to remind the public about the problem of racism. The girl suggested that all conscious people install the image of a black fist instead of the standard avatar. In addition, Lex Scott recommended that the participants of the action like black tiktokers and put the hashtag #blacklivesmatter. All these events took place in May 2020 after a scandalous murder in the United States, when a white police officer brutally cracked down on a black man – George Floyd.
Many celebrities put a black fist on their profile picture:
Black fist and its further transformation
The Black Lives Matter action has become an impetus for the further fight against inequality and injustice. For example, the Japanese Niko Ichiro Katsuyoshi asked TikTok users to put a black fist in a yellow circle on their profile picture to support people from Asia, who are also often offended in society. The guy said that he feels especially oppressed during the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition, tiktokers began to actively put avatars with a red lightning. This is a symbol of disagreement with the new law on a complete ban on abortion in Poland. Flashmob participants believe that a woman has the right to independently dispose of her body. In addition, the law may lead to an increase in mortality in the country due to an increase in the number of criminal abortions.
On TikTok, you can also see a black fist with a rainbow flag in the background. This symbol is used by representatives of the LGBT community, which is still not accepted by many people.
In general, we can say that the black fist in 2020 means disagreement with any kind of harassment: both on the basis of gender and nationality. Under the lockdown, TikTok has become a suitable platform for safe and peaceful protests. Perhaps such flash mobs will help make our world a better and kinder place.