LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– For more than five years, online campaigns have encouraged people to spend their money solely within the Black community.
The Blackout 2020 campaign, spurred by weeks of protests and demands for equity, calls for as many people as possible to only spend their money at Black businesses for one day, Tuesday July 7th. Members of the Black Business Alliance of Greater Lansing say protests like this show the true power of the Black dollar.
“What is happening in our world is allowing people to see the effects that systemic racism and lack of equity,” says president Alane Laws-Barker, “what it’s done to Black businesses in particular.”
Lansing accountant Charles Moore says he’s encouraged to see so much support behind movements like Blackout Day and hopes the momentum doesn’t stop after Tuesday.
“The thought being that if they do it one time, they like the product, they’ll continue to spend there,” Moore says, “which creates what I consider the American way.”
In the days leading up to the blackout, supporters were encouraged to research businesses to support and to open accounts in black-owned banks. Many will use the day to support black businesses online, but the Lansing alliance says you don’t have to look too far to find places to support.
“We know that there are a lot of national and international black businesses, which is an amazing thing,” says MiChaela Barker, owner of Melanin in Medicine LLC. “We do need to focus on our local area, what’s going on at home, what’s happening in our own backyard.”
If you don’t know where to start, you can find a list of Black-owned businesses in Lansing on the alliance’s Facebook page and in the seen on 6 section of our website.