Black Restaurant Owners Participate in Blackout Day 2020


The popular hashtag #BlackoutTuesday from June 2 has returned in a new event, Blackout Day 2020, occurring right now. Instagram’s algorithmically selected cover post for the hashtag #BlackoutDay2020 states the following synopsis of the day, “Today, I am participating in The Blackout Coalition’s economic protest by not spending ANY money and, if I must spend, I pledge to only do so at Black Owned Businesses.”

  • Instagram users have posted over one million times with the #BlackoutDay2020 hashtag.
  • On TikTok, videos tagged #BlackoutDay2020 have generated over four million views today.
  • Tweets tagged #BlackoutDay2020 have generated over 600,000 impressions today. BlackoutDay2020 also ranks among Twitter’s Top 10 trending hashtags on Twitter’s current homepage for most users.

The Blackout Coalition claims to be responsible for today’s event, although many philanthropy groups and political lobbyists have co-opted or appropriated Black Lives Matter events in the past. The domain was registered just 38 days ago at GoDaddy using domain privacy to conceal ownership. The Blackout Coalition shares leadership with OneUnited Bank with less than $1 billion in assets, as well as a Miami-based ad agency with a history of sponsored content on Huffington Post shortly after Arianna Huffington’s departure to Thrive amid complaints of advertorial. A background check did not reveal any immediate problems with the organization, and indeed, there are less than a few dozen black-owned banks in the country, many of which have smaller asset bases.

Concurrently, today’s Blackout Day 2020 event is trending alongside the older hashtag #BlackoutTuesday from June 2. Originally intended as a single-day event, Blackout Tuesday started as The Show Must Be Paused and morphed into a broader social media event for members of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Ostensibly an event to encourage going offline to reflect on African American civic issues, in practice, Blackout Day 2020 has morphed into a digital event with millions of users black squares with overlaid text across all social media platforms with heavy commenting and sharing using old hashtags #BlackLivesMatter #BLM #BlackoutTuesday and now the additional #BlackoutDay2020.

  • Instagram users have posted 23 million times using the June 2nd hashtag #BlackoutTuesday
  • On TikTok, #BlackoutTuesday tagged videos have generated 232 million views in total.

Lists of black-owned businesses to patronize can be found here and here.

Photo by Sandra Seitamaa on Unsplash

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