July 7 is Blackout Day 2020, a day dedicated to economic solidarity. It is not to be confused with #theshowmustbepaused, the initiative that held its own Blackout Tuesday on June 2.
On May 8, activist Calvin Martyr shared a video urging the Black community to not spend any money on July 7. Martyr’s call to action came from anger, and exhaustion, after what he called “countless decades and centuries of oppression.”
As seen on the movement’s website, the mission is, “to create an international community of economic solidarity and national consciousness unified around our common experience and ancestry as Emancipated Peoples of America.”
For Blackout Day, Martyr took direct inspiration from the 1955-1956 x, a protest against segregated seating. Noting how Black people either walked or carpooled with other Black people, Martyr decided that we could do something similar with our money.
“When they fear hurting us, like we fear hurting them, that’s the only way we’ll get change,” Martyr said during the 7-minute clip. “The way we’ll get change like that is if we unite with the dollar.
In the video, Martyr also shared that he believes a true spirit of unity would have the potential to shake America.
“I we can do it for one day, it would shut the whole system down,” he said.
If you must purchase something, Martyr encourages you to support a Black-owned business. “If you must spend a dollar, spend it with a Black business only,” he said in an Instagram post on May 29.
Photo credit: Getty