Groups mark successful Blackout Day

Black America and allies use massive spending power

Lisa Fitch Editor-in-chief | 7/16/2020, midnight

The Blackout Coalition, in partnership with OneUnited Bank, announced the success of #BlackOutDay2020, which was held July 7. Black America and its allies successfully demonstrated their understanding of how to use their spending power to create positive change in America.

With over two million registering their support on social media, and millions more committed to the process, the coalition believes Black America and its allies are prepared to utilize their economic power to ensure corporations and governmental entities recognize and respect the political, social and economic rights of Black Americans.

“Black America and its allies can and will use our spending power to demonstrate that today is a new day in America. We believe in justice and equality for all Americans,” said Calvin Martyr, one of the founders of The Blackout Coalition.

"Black dollars matter! No justice, no profit! These seven words need to be the seven steps from the potential to the actual, as a reawakened Black citizenry unveils a secret hiding in plain sight: We don't have to wait until we become entrepreneurially adept, or until we build bustling, thriving Black business sectors across the country in order to be economically impactful—we have all we need RIGHT NOW to economically energize and enable our individual and collective betterment,” said Michael Phillippe Jones in a recent OW advertorial.

BlackOutDay2020 started out as an idea on social media and quickly caught fire, going from non-existence to becoming a nationwide conversation and movement to organize spending power to create positive social change in America. Across the nation, America is mourning the deaths of too many innocent Black people who have been killed by racism. Peaceful protestors, including diverse ethnicities and generations, are fighting for justice for the many lives lost to police brutality and violence at the hands of vigilantes.

Now elected officials, corporations and organizations are joining the movement to address systemic racism at all levels from the board room to senior management, staffing, policies and brand name. According to the coalition, change is in the air and Black America will no longer tolerate injustice and inequality.

In 2016, the #BankBlack and #BuyBlack Movements began with a simple text and call to action from rapper and activist Killer Mike to Black America to move its money to Black owned banks, to garner the economic spending power of Black America and re-channel it back into communities. Since that time, while corporate America remained relatively silent, OneUnited Bank actively supported social justice movements including #BlackLivesMatter, #TakeAKnee, the#1619Project….and now the #BlackOutDay2020.

“As the largest Black-owned bank in America, we are compelled to play a leadership role to galvanize our community and allies in support of #BlackOutDay2020, and to fight for social and economic justice,” stated Kevin Cohee, chairman & CEO of OneUnited Bank. “We need to use our power—our spending power, our vote and our voice—to demand criminal justice reform and to close the racial wealth gap.”

The U.S. Black Chambers (USBC), which brands itself as the voice of Black business owners and an advocate for resources and policies that impact Black business owners, stated in a July 7 email: