SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Blackout Day 2020 was the latest push in the push for racial justice in America. Members of the Black community actively made an effort on Tuesday not to spend money in the economy nationwide, unless it was a Black-owned business.
Customers came from as far as Lake Plumas to support staff at Tiferet Coffee House in East Sacramento on Tuesday. It was their second day open after recouping from initial pandemic closures. For Maketa Verhane, the business was welcome.
“Today has been overwhelming with support,” Verhane said. “I could never imagine. Someone drove 45 minutes to buy coffee from me. Wow.”
Verhane said the push made up for 80% of Tiferet’s sales on Tuesday. Jason Peret was one of the many Blackout Day customers.
“By uplifting and supporting the Black community – I’m supporting the entire community,” Peret said. “That means participating by spending your money in the businesses you’d like to see around.”
Blackout Day 2020 is not only a day where people strived to support Black-owned businesses but as a form of financial protest and business boycott. Members of the Black community actively chose to hold out from contributing to the economy with hopes of people learning the value of their dollar.
“Nobody out-consumes Black folk in this country,” Jay King, CEO and President of the California Black Chamber of Commerce said. “We are needed in this society.”
King says members of the Black community in Sacramento spend $8 billion dollars a year. Compare that to the state, where they spend nearly $100 billion. Nationwide, they spend more than a trillion dollars a year. King says that money is a driving force of the economy.
“We’re not trying to buck a system,” King said. “We’re trying to be included in it.”
This latest push for racial justice has boded well for Black-owned businesses like Fixins Soul Kitchen in Oak Park.
“I feel like I have the support from everyone outside no matter what color you are,” Demariea Miles, a Fixins employee, said. “We get love from everybody.”
Their phones, Miles said, had been ringing nonstop with people asking for ways to contribute to the Blackout Day cause.
King says this forward momentum in the modern-day civil rights movement is one he hopes sticks around.
“One day is a good start, but it’s not good enough,” King said.
At Tiferet, Verhane believes it will stick, with more days like this one in the near future.
“It’s a culture. It’s a community,” Verhane said. “They’re making sure we stay open and they choose to spend their dollars with us. We’re more than grateful.”
National news outlets say the Blackout Day 2020 campaign was created by activist Calvin Martyr.