Blackout Day 2020: Nationwide push to support Black-owned businesses

Local News

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A different kind of protest against racial injustice is taking place today, this one aimed at the economy.

“If we can do it for one day. It would shut the whole system down,” said Blackout Day 2020 organizer Calvin Martyr.

Calvin Martyr posted a message on social media back in May, following the public outcry of the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. 

In the weeks following, protests would erupt after two more Black men were killed by police — George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks. 

“If we can unite like they did in Montgomery, Alabama when not one single Black person rode the bus. That right there is what caused the civil rights legislation to come because they touched them pockets,” said Martyr in the social media video.  

Today is Blackout Day 2020, and activists are pushing for Black Americans not to spend any money today, and if they do, to spend it at Black-owned businesses.

Kimberly Pettway has been leading the charge for people to buy Black in Mobile. 

“I think when people start to recognize how much we contribute to their day to day, They’re much more likely to adhere to the requests that we may have. But none of this will resolve without policy and legislation,” said organizer Kim Pettway.

Black Americans spent more than $1 trillion on consumer goods in 2018 alone, according to Nielson. 

Locally, organizers have a working list of Black-owned businesses on the Buy Black Alabama and Black Owned Businesses of Mobile Facebook pages.

“Our dollar means a lot. It helps us to kind of reflect on that and build this sense of community pride around the things we contribute to this society, “ said Pettway.

Click here for a list of Black-owned businesses in Mobile.

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