Blackout Tuesday aims to strengthen the Black dollar

Graphic by Chris Harrison/MSR News

Today is Blackout Tuesday, a day organized for Black Americans, people of color and allies to collectively assert and harness their spending power by not contributing to the U.S. economy.

Activist Calvin Martyr of the Blackout Coalition co-opted the concept from previous “Blackout” initiatives with the hope of creating a continuous movement. “What the Blackout Coalition is all about and what the Black Out Day is is a pro-solution, nonviolent, anti-rioting movement,” Martyr told Queen’s Chronicle. “The whole mission is to create a conversation … that is explicitly about empowering Black people, Black economy, Black consciousness.” Black consumers had an annual buying power of $1.3 trillion dollars in 2018, according to Nielsen figures.

Participants are encouraged to not spend money in person or online, as a protest against racial injustice. But if spending is necessary, organizers are urging people to only spend with Black-owned businesses.

Find local Black-owned businesses to consider in our Black Business Spotlight section.