BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — July 7 is Blackout Day 2020. It's a nationwide economic movement urging Americans not to spend money unless it's going to a black-owned business.
"The only way as a people that we will get any change is if we unite," said Calvin Martyr, the activist credited with starting the movement.
Black Americans have $1.3 trillion in buying power as of 2018, rising 114% from 2000 to 2018, according to Nielsen. The goal is to encourage economic solidarity among people of color and encourage change.
"I always say we're the number one consumer. If there are people are going to spend and want to look well, it's our African American community," said Nia Badger, owner of MMW Style Studios on Main Street in Buffalo who hopes this can help give her business a boost.
The movement's official website says this is the beginning of a lifelong pursuit of economic empowerment.
Martyr compares it to the Montgomery Bus Boycott of the Civil Rights Movement. This movement has made its way to WNY, with this image and others like it being shared around several local Facebook groups.
"It's important that it's not only African Americans supporting us, but everybody saying guess what, we're going to put our money and our dollars behind the entire community," said Badger.
Businesses in Buffalo have already started reaping the benefits.
"So far we've seen a little bit more business, so far it's been pretty good. It's great, you know we're always looking forward to make sure we're here for everyone in the community," said Romone Anderson, owner of Brothers on Hertel Avenue.