KEY POINTS

  • Blackout Day 2020 is an economic protest slated for July 7
  • Activist Calvin Martyr started the call to action two months ago on social media
  • It’s a day for supporting Black businesses and standing in solidarity with the Black community
  • Martyr hopes that this will raise awareness for politicians and business leaders to change policies and practices disadvantageous to Black people

The protest against racial injustice is taking on a new form, nearly two months since demonstrators took to the streets to decry the discriminatory treatment of Black people. On Tuesday (July 7), an economic protest, dubbed Blackout Day, will be held in support of Black business owners.

Blackout Day 2020 is a "day of solidarity in America where not one Black person spends a dollar," the official site stated. If they have to spend money or if they have to buy something on this day, Black Americans are encouraged to patronize businesses run and owned by Black entrepreneurs.

Black people spent $1 trillion on consumer goods in 2018 in America according to Nielsen data. The organizers of Blackout Day 2020 hope to leverage that spending power to build economic solidarity among Black people and "to break free from the chains of financial servility."

According to CNN, the objective of Blackout Day 2020 is to put an end to policies and practices that are disadvantageous to Black people, especially in the business world. Data shows that amid the coronavirus pandemic, 40% of Black-owned businesses closed down in April compared to just 17% of White American businesses.

Activist, musician and social media personality Calvin Martyr is credited with promoting Blackout Day 2020 for the last two months. In his video feeds, Martyr has been trying to raise awareness and asking other Black Americans to join the movement to not spend a dollar "on Amazon, online, on fast food places and other stores."

Martyr hopes that this call to action would make politicians act to change policies to end systemic racism in America. So far, Martyr has received the support of companies like Procter & Gamble, Cisco Systems and Etsy, as well as rapper T.I.

blazer-2590798_1920 Blackout Tuesday 2020 is a day-long economic protest where Black Americans are encouraged not to spend a dollar or do so only for Black-owned companies. Photo: StockSnap/Pixabay

According to Money, this economic protest is different from #BlackoutTuesday, which went viral on Instagram in June to mourn the death of George Floyd and to protest the treatment of Black people by the police.

Martyr said that while Blackout Day 2020 is meant for the Black community, it’s not an exclusive cause.

"We welcome ALL people of color to stand with us in solidarity,” his statement on the official site read. “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.”

To join Blackout Day 2020, consumers may find Black businesses and companies to support or purchase from in their area on July 7, using apps like Support Black Owned and We Buy Black. Participants can also post their support on social media with hashtags like #SupportBlackBusiness and #BlackOwnedBusines.