The United States celebrated Black History Month every year for the month of February. This is a time where Black Americans celebrate their history and heritage in the U.S. Its a time to remember those who made accomplishments to the advancement of Black American citizens and the country as whole despite the odds stacked against them. If you are familiar with K-pop twitter stan culture, then you know that each fandom has a “selca day,” to post pictures of themselves and their favorite idols. One ARMY (BTS’ fandom) named Shauna, who is also Black American (Twitter: @PERAITAPJM) decided to celebrate the end of Black History month by creating a hashtag similar to #ARMYSelcaDay, but with a focus on Black ARMYs as a way for them to meet, support and celebrate one another. She explained her goals for the hashtag as well.
I, being a Black American ARMY, was thrilled and excited. I’m not gonna act like I wasn’t distracted the ENTIRE DAY by the #BlackOutBTS tag as all of the beautiful black women celebrating flooded my timeline. I even gained more than thirty new mutuals, not followers or people I was following, but mutuals!
I spoke with Shauna and asked if there was anything she wanted to emphasize. She said that she wanted people to know that this tag was not about exclusion, but was instead about the inclusion of Black fans who are often pushed to the margins of society in most arenas, K-pop fandoms included. Of course, there was backlash from non-Black ARMY who felt the hashtag was divisive but that will be addressed in a future article. Much like the hashtag itself, this article is meant as a celebration of the beauty and community that occurred on February 28th.
What I noticed on this tag were a bunch of beautiful Black people who were happy, celebrating themselves, celebrating BTS and the things we love about them, and hyping each other up in the process. This moment was a source of joy, excitement, beauty, creativity, and much more. The hashtag even trended! A radio station in Chattanooga, Tennessee even tweeted the tag to BTS themselves with the hope that their verified account would bring it to the attention of BTS, and they even sent it to BTS’ new American distributors and PR people.
The sense of community that I felt on that thread, that I gained in my new mutuals, and continue to feel in my outreach on Twitter was amazing, invaluable, and indestructible! I hope that we can all continue to celebrate one another and our love for BTS together while we strengthen our relationships as fans and people!
A huge THANKS to everyone who contributed their social media accounts for this article! Your confidence and celebration of yourselves is a beautiful thing!