Blackout Day 2020: 5 Things To Know About Movement In Solidarity With Black-Owned Businesses

It's officially Blackout Day, 24 hours in which consumers should only buy from Black-owned businesses, or not spend a dime at all. Here's what else you need to know about the event.

On July 7, the Black community will come together in economic solidarity for Blackout Day 2020. Ideally, participants would not spend money at all during the 24-hour event. The welcomed alternative is to purchase from Black-owned businesses only. Here’s what you need to know about Blackout Day 2020 as it begins:

1. It was conceived by Calvin Martyr, founder of the Blackout Coalition. Calvin explains that Black Americans account for approximately $1.2 trillion in economic spending. Or, as he calls it, economic power. “In order to break free from the chains of financial servility, we will organize days, weeks, months, and years if necessary when not one Black person in America will spend a dollar outside of our community,” his site’s mission statement reads. “If you must spend a dollar [on Blackout Day], spend it with a black business only. We’re building a tool for you to be able to shop anywhere in the country with black businesses.”

2. It’s not just about economic solidarity. “Our ASK is that we stop being shot down in the streets,” the organization states. “Our ASK is that racist legislation be purged from the books, and the cancerous ideology that this country was founded upon be rooted out.”

“Our ASK is that we have equal opportunity to access funding so that we can conduct business and practice group economics amongst ourselves. Our ASK is that we are allowed to build our own communities and industries and be left alone. Our ASK is that you stop murdering our leaders when they attempt to unite us as a people.”

3. Companies positing themselves as Black allies isn’t enough. While some corporations have released statements saying they stand with the Black community as protests continue across the United States, there’s much more to be done. Changing Aunt Jemima‘s appearance is wonderful, but not enough. Rather than supporting big corporations, you can find a list of smaller, Black-owned businesses HERE.

Blackout Day 2020
GaudiLab/Shutterstock

4. All people of color can participate. People of color are welcomed, and encouraged, to support Black-owned businesses, regardless. But Blackout Day 2020, according to Martyr, is a movement by and for Black Americans. Check out these amazing beauty and fashion brands run by Black women if you’d like to lend your support on Blackout Day — and every day.

5. There may be more Blackout Days in the future. Martyr envisions a future where Blackout Days will be a regular occurrence. There have been past Blackout Days, including Blackout Tuesday in June 2020, during which celebrities went silent on social media in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

“This is only the beginning of a lifelong pursuit of economic empowerment as a reality for ALL BLACK PEOPLE,” the organization states. “United, we are an unstoppable force. We are a nation of people within this nation that at any time can demand our liberation by withholding our dollars. If we can do it for a day, we can do it for a week, a month, a quarter, a year…and one day we will look up and it will be a way of life.”

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