The social media movement is urging everyone to avoid buying items—unless they are from Black-owned businesses—on July 7.

woman in a cafe shopping online with credit card
Credit: Getty / Lyndon Stratford

Protests in support of Black lives are circulating worldwide, and these include everything from marches to social media campaigns that demand an end to institutional racism. One movement that is gaining attention in solidarity for the community is #BlackOutDay. According to KHOU, Calvin Martyr is using the #BlackOutDay2020 hashtag to illustrate just how influential Black people are in society and from an economic standpoint.

To show what it would be like without Black people, a community that contributes about $1.2 trillion in spending annually, the virtual movement is calling for a "blackout" on July 7, 2020; they are urging those in the community and allies not to spend money for the full day.

While the hashtag is currently going viral, it was originally created five years ago by The Blackout group to shed light on the lack of representation of everyday Black people in mainstream media. In efforts to create a space where the community would feel seen, the group created the hashtag to illustrate the buying power of Black people and pushed those to stop making purchases one day every three months.

The new take on the movement inspired by Martyr hopes to demand police reform and the end to systemic racism by leading a widely-known protest against spending for the day—but if those must purchase an item, Martyr encourages only spending on Black-owned businesses. To learn more, you can visit the BLACKOUT DAY 2020 Facebook page or the campaign's website.


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