We`re sure you`ve seen the buzz about #BlackoutDay or Blackout Tuesday all over social media but what exactly is it? Where did it originate? Why should you or anyone be apart of it? All great questions we answer in the article below.
What and When Is It?
Tuesday July 7th 2020 has been declared Blackout Day, a campaign calling on black Americans to spend their dollars exclusively at black-owned businesses.
Who Started it?
Activist and YouTuber Calvin Martyr founded the initiative, compelled by the death of Georgia man Ahmaud Arbery, who was chased down by three white men, then shot and killed. Martyr has been spreading the hashtag #BLACKOUTDAY2020.
“Where do we go after countless decades and centuries of oppression, of being killed, of being lynched, of being burned alive … persecuted for how we look?” says the Texas-based Martyr on May 8, while holding up a copy of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s book “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community.”
“The only way as a people that we will get any change is if we unite solidarity with the dollar,” he says. “I guarantee you, if for one day in America not one black person spent a dollar … we can unite like they did in Montgomery, Alabama, when not one single black person rode a bus. That right there is what caused Civil Rights legislation to come, because they touched them pockets.”
View Video by Calvin Martyr
The Big Why
The trend to boost black-owned businesses has gained support on social media over the past few months — sparked by the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests as well as the economic plunge caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which has devastated the country’s most vulnerable populations, particularly Black people.
Small, black-owned businesses need support, as studies show they are far more likely to experience financial instability and difficulty obtaining credit compared to businesses owned by white people. A 2017 report from the Federal Reserve Bank found that less than half — 42% — of black-owned businesses in 2016 actually profited in 2016, compared to 57% of their white counterparts. Meanwhile, black-owned businesses saw a credit approval rating at a 19% lower rate than white ones, despite the fact that they also obtained credit at rates that were 10% higher.
At the same time, black Americans have significant buying power, spending approximately $3.5 billion per day, according to Nielsen data from 2018.
In his call to action, Martyr also says, “If we could do it for one day, it would shut the whole system down. Not one black person spent a dollar, I guarantee we’ll get change.”
Why We Chose To Write About It
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