What is #BlackOutDay? Day organized for Black people to avoid online, in-store shopping

The movements advocating equality and social justice through social media campaigns and protests continue across America and the globe. An effort has emerged that seeks to demonstrate with a challenge involving the Black dollar.

BlackOutDay 2020 is a campaign that is challenging 1.5 million Black people, people of color and other supporters to avoid purchases online and in-store on July 7 unless it’s a Black-owned business.

"If you care about justice, equity and truly believe that all lives matter including Black men, women and children, I challenge you to participate in #BlackOutDay2020 — July 7th. It literally doesn't cost you a dime," reads a message from a Medium blogger about the campaign.

The call to action intends to observe “one day of solidarity” for Black America by encouraging Black people to not spend any money July 7.

Why BlackOutDay is happening?

Across the country, hundreds of thousands have expressed grief over the deaths of George Floyd, who died after being arrested by Minneapolis police, Ahmaud Arbery, who was fatally shot while jogging in Brunswick, Georgia, and Breonna Taylor, who was shot by police while she was sleeping in her Louisville, Kentucky, home.

While protests and other demonstrations have been the primary way of challenging these fatal incidents involving Black people, the BlackOut movement will shed light on the instances of racism via economic means. OneUnited, one of the largest Black banks in the country, will support the day to show that corporate America should not remain silent as protests persist, according to a news release.

“As the largest Black owned bank in America, we’re compelled to play a leadership role to galvanize our community and allies in support of #BlackOutDay2020 and to fight for social justice,” Kevin Cohee, chairman and CEO of OneUnited Bank, said in a statement. “We need to use our power – both our spending power, our vote and our voice – to demand criminal justice reform and to address income inequality.”

Celebrities including rapper T.I. are also participating in the efforts.

Here are some steps to get involved with #BlackOutDay:

  1. Go to the website to sign up https://www.blackoutday.org/take-action
  2. Accept the #BlackOutDay2020 Challenge by posting: "I accept the #BlackOutDay 2020 Challenge and promise not to spend a dime in a store or online on July 7th" — on Twitter and/or Instagram, with a visual, video, photo or by making a sign.
  3. "Don't spend a DIME": Whether in person or online July 7, those participating are asked not to spend money − unless it's a BOB (Black owned business) for the entire 24 hours.

Visit www.blackoutday.org for more information.