TYLER, Texas (KETK) – A tradition that has been taking place for centuries has been brought to life during a time of racial differences which has been sparking across the nation.
“Blackout Day 2020” is aimed at supporting the local community, asking for African Americans to spend no money at all for an entire day. If spending is necessary, the movement urges African American consumers to buy only from Black-owned businesses.
Topp’s Pizza in Tyler is just one of many businesses participating and says every dollar counts. But even being open two years, Denise Sanders, says being a Black business owner comes with its challenges.
“Because I have a lot of people that still don’t know I’m here and I’ve been here two years, and they say they are going to support me which makes me happy so I think it’s very important,” said Denise Sanders, owner.
To support the movement, every customer with a Black Lives Matter shirt received one free pizza on Tuesday. Sanders said the support was overwhelming and shows just how important the community is.
“It started off pretty good, but it’s been hard but we are picking up, and I think I still have a long way to go,” said Sanders.
As protests and calls for action continue nationwide, the hashtag #BLACKOUT2020 quickly became a trend on social media. The day pairing with Black Live Matter protests, demanding justice for George Floyd and Brianna Taylor.
“This is not a day of division, it is a day of diversity it is a day of bridging,” said Sanders. “A day to really focus and channel those dollars into minority owned business”
According to a Nielson study, Black Americans spent more than $1 trillion on consumer goods alone in 2019. Clove Bolden with the Metro Chamber of Commerce encourages the public to invest in local businesses as the “Black Lives Matter” movement continues.
The founder of the Blackout Coalition and creator of the “Blackout Day 2020,” Calvin Martyr, went to Facebook, challenging African Americans to show how much a dollar is worth.
“That is the way of helping to move this vehicle forward, we have to have the funds in order to get the legal action,” said Bolden.
Due to a high demand, Topp’s Pizza sold out on Tuesday. They hope to continue the deal on Thursday.