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What is #BlackoutTuesday and what are people doing during the economic boycott?

(Photo by Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images)
(Photo by Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images) (© 2020 Erik McGregor)

HOUSTON – Many Black people across the country are participating in an economic protest on Tuesday in wake of racial injustices in the United States.

#BlackoutTuesday, also referenced as #BlackoutDay2020, is a call to action where African Americans have been asked not to spend a dollar and if they do, they are encouraged to spend their money with black-owned businesses only.

The initiative has been organized largely in response to the killings of George Floyd, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. The protest has also been used as a way to promote other Black-owned businesses.

“This is a way to raise some awareness about what happens when the Black dollar is not being spent on a given day in the country,” said Judson Robinson III, president of the Houston Area Urban League.

Robinson says the economic rights of Black people must be a part of the current larger discussion around civil rights and the Black Lives Matter movement.

“When you talk about a $1.1 trillion spending power we currently have, headed toward a $2.1 trillion spending power that we’ll have by the end of 2021, I think that dollar needs to be respected. I think that it’s important for the American economy to take advantage of that and support those who are supporting you,” Robinson said.

Black business owners say they are encouraged by the renewed effort to buy Black.

“It‘s been really huge and it’s been really powerful. People come in with intention and I’m happy to see they did the research and say ‘we’re looking to see where the Black-owned businesses are'”, said Jackie Adams, owner of Melodrama Boutique on Almeda Road in Third Ward.

To mark the day, People of Peace, a non-profit organization formed in the wake of Houston’s protest against the killing of George Floyd, held a meet and greet with Black business owners in Emancipation Park.

“We want to be able to connect the community with the Black-owned businesses. The black dollar is very important, so if we learn how to gauge that, and invest it and do the right things and be innovative with ourselves and invest in ourselves then they sky is the limit,” said Daria Savannah, vice-president of People of Peace.

Here is what some people and organizations had to say about the boycott on social media, and how they are showing solidarity:

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#BLM #blackouttuesday #blacklivesmatter

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