Black Americans exercise their economic power for #BlackoutTuesday

WILMINGTON,NC (WWAY) — Tuesday is #BlackoutTuesday2020. Many African-Americans are boycotting America’s pocketbook by not spending money all day and, if they do, only will spend at black-owned businesses.

According to Neilson, black Americans spend more than $1 trillion on consumer goods each year. The #Blackoutday2020 initiative started in early May following the death of Ahmuad Arbery in February, Breonna Taylor in March and George Floyd in May.

Some people call these deaths “incidents of injustice” and have sparked nationwide protests including in Wilmington.  

“The black buying power is big so circulating that money amongst that buying power can do bigger things,” Mike Langston, the new owner of ‘Boseman Shoes,’ said. ‘Boseman Shoes’ is a sneaker retail business in Wilmington. 

On a day where most businesses are expected to be low on sales, his shop is still seeing customers.

“Some of the brands are actually doing somethings and have done some things that will help us out as far as pushing release dates to not conflict with social injustice protests and things of that nature,” Langston said.

Langston says name brands supporting this movement is big.

“I’m glad they are addressing the issue and showing that it’s bigger than clothing,” Langston said. “It’s bigger than sneakers. It’s bigger than music.”

Langston says being a business owner and black comes with it’s challenges each and every day and Robert Flood, who owns Creators’ Print House less than 10 minutes away, agrees.

“It’s kind of tough because we have to kind of like establish ourselves out there like we are credible,” Flood said. “We have good products.”

Robert Flood says there is power in being a black business owner.

A lot of black wealth was taken away and was moved out of the town so generational wealth was put to a halt because of that,” Flood says. “So ,if we can support our own black businesses and make that business prosper, then we’ll be able to push that wealth to our kids.”

Flood says, after growing up in Wilmington and learning about the death of many black residents during the 1898 Wilmington Race Riots, he says it was important to re-establish what was taken away and inspire the future.

“People will come in here and say I see what y’all have done,” Flood said. “Y’all inspired us and it gives them a boost to want to start their own business, their own company and their own brand.”

Blackout Tuesday originated from the music industry on June 2nd in response to death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.

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