#BlackoutDay2020 trends as movement to support Black-owned businesses gains momentum: 'Don't spend a dime'
Tuesday, July 7, has been declared as "Blackout Day", a movement that aims to inspire the nation to support Black-owned businesses. #BlackoutDay is beginning to garner a lot of attention across social media platforms with the movement telling people to financially back Black-owned businesses. The movement is also aiming to support nationwide economic solidarity among businesses. A large majority of Black-owned businesses are not properly funded and often don't have access to capital and loans, according to a Good Morning America report.
The effects of the deadly coronavirus pandemic and its economic consequences have also taken a toll on businesses that have been disproportionately disrupted. Many social media users shared posts to remind others to show their solidarity and support Black-owned businesses. One such user had written, "#BLACKOUTDAY2020 Just a reminder we are boycotting nonblack businesses today."
Another had added, "#BLACKOUTDAY2020 don't spend any money today (July 7) and if you must then use it to support black-owned businesses!! let's do this!" A user shared, "July 7, 2020, is #BLACKOUTDAY2020 If you absolutely have to buy something, support your local #BlackOwnedBusiness owners."
Yet another echoed the same sentiments and shared, "Let's not forget what tomorrow is...DONT SPEND A DIME #BLACKOUTDAY2020 #BlackLivesMatter." The initiative had been started by The Blackout Coalition leader, Calvin Martyr. An Instagram post by the Coalition read, "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."
Many companies such as Procter & Gamble (PG), Cisco Systems, and celebrities like TI have shown their support for the movement on social media, according to CNN. It is believed that the #BlackOutDay2020 campaign had begun in early May post the killings of Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia, on February 23 and the police shooting of Breonna Taylor in Louisville on March 13.
The #BlackOutDay 2020's website reads, "This movement is an awakening of the national consciousness of black people in America and abroad. We need economic solidarity in America amongst all black people unequivocally." President of the Alaska Black Caucus, Celeste Hodge Growden spoke to KTVA and said, "It's an opportunity to stand in solidarity with us as we work to eradicate racism by using our economic power."
"We're asking Alaskans to not spend even a penny on July 7 unless it's with a Black-owned business, to help fight systemic racism and erase economic disparities that have existed in this country for centuries," Growden shared. Alaska Senator Elvi Gray-Jackson explained how the movement does not say to boycott other businesses but that it is a way to bring awareness to other business options and opportunities.
"The fact of the matter is we've been supporting every single business on a daily basis for many, many years. I've lived here for 38 years and have been supporting businesses that aren't black and I'm just thrilled to know there are so many Black businesses that I can now support, along with the other businesses in our community," Gray-Jackson shared.