How Black Creators Stopped The Clock on TikTok



Yvonne Ile

Institute of Contemporary Music Performance/University of West London, London, United Kingdom

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INSAM Journal of Contemporary Music, Art and Technology, Issue 8, 2022

Main Theme of the Issue: Fighting for the Attention: Music and Art on Social Media

Publisher: INSAM Institute for Contemporary Artistic Music, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina



Abstract: Between June and July 2021, a number of Black creators band­ed together on TikTok and withheld from creating content – they went on strike. This sudden protest came after outcries from Black creators, who claimed that they created many of the viral dances on the platform, whilst their white counterparts received the accolades. I propose that this strike is a result of underlying bias, antagonisms and an unresolved histo­ry of musical and artistic plagiarism from Black creators. Inspired by how race is presented in the media and focusing on novel media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, I assert that creative works by Black creators and subsequently their ownership, use and replication, need to be studied within popular culture.

Keywords: cultural appropriation, Internet, artistic plagiarism, social media, expression, TikTok, Black music, Black creators, Black TikTok, Black TikTok Strike.


4. INSAM Journal 8, Ile

ISSN 2637 – 1898
On the cover: Tiamat by Kim Diaz Holm
Design and layout: Milan Šuput, Bojana Radovanović