On July 7th, an economic protest was held across America. The corruption of police brutality is the cause of this uprising against racial injustice. #Blackoutday2020 movement is a protest created by Calvin Martyr who was inspired by the year long Montgomery bus boycott of 1955 when the community of Alabama was segregated. On May 8th, 2020 Calvin uploaded a video to YouTube asking the people of America for one day to not spend any money, this movement adjacent to Black Lives Matter.
Before the internet and social media, boycotts were an effective way to promote change and get the message out to the community; like the most recent boycotts against Starbucks and Whole Foods for asking employees to not wear Black Lives Matter attire. The reasoning to take action on Blackout Day is to narrow the wealth gap and continue the circulation of resources within the community. According to a 2018 report from Nielsen, African-Americans spend about $1.2 trillion yearly in the U.S. but on Blackout Day only purchases from black owned businesses where to be made, or none at all.
As Martyr explains, “Although this movement is exclusively targeted at empowering and uplifting Black people all over the world, we welcome ALL people of color to stand with us in solidarity.”
If seeking to support black owned businesses, social media is a great outlet to start finding locally owned businesses. Hashtags such as #BlackOwnedBuisness on Instagram and Twitter make the search for supporting that much easier. The recent website and mobile app, Support Black Owned can help aid your search in finding businesses in your city, as well as Etsy paying homage to Black sellers in the community.
Currently the next step has been posted on Calvin Martyr Facebook in part with his organization, The Blackout Coalition have created a new team called “Boots on the Ground.”
“The team will be carrying out any physically present initiatives we may have, starting with the North America Black Owned Business Tour where we will be interviewing business owners/customers and bringing awareness to the community.”