Tuesday is #BlackOutDay2020, when Black Americans will showcase combined economic might by not spending money, and if money must be spent, it’s encouraged to spend at black-owned businesses. Activist Calvin Martyr first promoted the campaign in a video on May 8th that has been shared thousands of times on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. He encourages all, not just Black Americans, to participate and support this boycott.
What is BlackoutDay2020?
The objective of #BlackoutDay2020 is to force politicians and the business world to end institutionally racist policies and practices that have led to the deaths and marginalization of Black Americans.Black Americans spent more than $1 trillion on consumer goods in 2018 alone, according to Nielsen.
How to Participate in the Blackout Day Boycott
While organizers said on the website that Blackout Day 2020 is aimed at empowering and uplifting Black people, the movement welcomes allies. “We welcome ALL people of color to stand with us in solidarity,” a statement on BlackoutDay.org explains. “While we welcome allies who choose to stand with us, we make absolutely no apology for the fact this movement is FOR US & BY US.”
Participants can commit to taking action via the Blackout Day 2020 website. If you want to participate, the main guideline is simple: don’t spend money on July 7, 2020. And if you must spend money, buy from Black-owned businesses.
More than 40% of Black business owners said they weren’t working in April 2020, while only 17% of white business owners said the same, according to a report from the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
How to Support Black-Owned Businesses
Social media is a good place to start your search for Black-owned businesses. Hashtags like #SupportBlackBusiness and #BlackOwnedBusiness on Instagram and Twitter will help you find tons of places to purchase things you might be buying everyday, from food to clothes to beauty products.
There are websites and apps specifically made to help you find and support Black-owned businesses. Support Black Owned can help you find businesses in your specific area by searching for your city and the type of purchase you’re looking to make. If you’re into online shopping, We Buy Black is an online marketplace with items from Black-owned businesses. Etsy is also highlighting Black-owned Etsy shops. If you’re looking to grab some grub, you can locate Black-owned restaurants with the app EatOkra. The Blackout Coalition also created a directory to help you find Black-owned businesses near you.
With a little research, there are likely more resources available for your location specifically. This Google Sheet, for example, shines a light on Black-owned businesses in the state of New Jersey.
This is not just about boycotting or black economic might, it is about standing up to institutionalized racism.
Follow Stories and Films on Social Media: