The hashtag #BlackOutDay2020 went viral staring in early May urging black people and their allies all over America to halt their spending for a day as an act of protest. Social media personality and activist Calvin Martyr has spent the last two months promoting the campaign after raising the idea in a video that has been shared thousands of time on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
This movement was of course a product of all of the racial injustices that have been in the media and happening around the United States. Seemingly, the last straw for the American public was the on screen murder of George Floyd. This sparked an outcry that even at this point still continues in the streets of major cities world wide.
The story has spread to media outlets like CNN, Yahoo, USA Today and more as this day sparked a national movement to resist the urge to support any other business other than that owned by an African American. Black owned businesses saw an immediate surge.
But now that this day has come to an end, what have we learned about the black dollar and how important it is when we all organize? There are certainly a few things that we can take from this movement into the future of black spending and black businesses.
We can rise up with organization and support each other:
All it takes is for African Americans to organize and unite for a large movement to happen. We can do so now even from our own homes, during one of the world’s largest pandemics, and during some of the most unprecedented racial turmoil ever seen in decades. We must do this more often
It is important that we see that there is power in our numbers and that with organization and direction, we can create a message that is impossible to dismiss. The Black Out Coalition raised the eyebrows of over 2 million individuals on social media alone enough to follow and engage with them. The hashtag and more has been seen all around the world, and even better acted upon for a one day boycott. Let us change our mindset and realize that one day can be duplicated if we continue to not simply push an agenda, but plan to support each other financially and purposefully.
There are plenty of Black Owned Businesses to support and to replace some of your larger brands:
With search engines reaching record highs for the key words “Black owned business“, we know that black owned businesses, franchises and more can be found. Why have we not supported them in the past the way we have since George Floyd and with this Black Out Day movement? That question is a very good one that we will have to ask ourselves as black people or allies of African American business owners.
Now that we are keenly alert to where to find black businesses, given the action and focused intention, it is time to work that into our new normal. There are great resources to find black owned businesses all over America, and with this movement, the excuse of “but I do not know where to go” has been thrown out he window. We now see that given direction, we can search out of necessity, support those pages and apps, and find and make purchases with black owned businesses.
Other businesses or big brands can be replaced:
With the surge in support for black owned businesses, came the wave of purchasers that have noted other businesses and how they may or may not have supported African Americans in the past. With the current “Cancel Culture”, we are becoming more and more likely to look for other alternatives. Adding this recent movement and all the blatant injustices that are being brought to light even more in today’s news and society, and places are being replaced by those who are advocates or are black owned businesses.
With the ability to find a black owned restaurant or franchise, a black owned lawyer or doctor, and so on, we have the ability to search and find or replace all large companies that to not align with our beliefs of personal agendas. Finding black owned stores to purchase clothing, face and hair products, and any consumer good is becoming easier and easier. With this movement, participants have learned that replacing their “bigger brands” is just a matter of opening another URL in their browser.
In order to have black owned businesses compete, we must give them a chance by investing in them, one purchase at a time. This focused effort and day allowed for those purchases to be made expeditiously, and also for client relationships to be formed that could easily last forever due to a mutual bond of being or supporting black. With these investments, and shining light on black owned businesses and entrepreneurs, we change the narrative that other businesses are bigger, better and more efficient.
With the internet and with the access to technology, smaller companies can now compete and be relevant in any space. It just takes us finding them and helping them succeed for them to take an inherent leap forward to scale and become a bigger player. On black out day, we helped black owned businesses make that leap with exposure and purchases.
Black People Are AMAZING!:
As simple as that. This movement has shown us that we are simply amazing. All of the love that we have spread to each other, unfortunately out of poor circumstances, is still outstanding. Platforms like My Black Receipt, Official Black Wall Street and all of the other apps and sites that have actively shown how much we can support each other in such a small period of time has taught us black boy/girl magic is real.