BlackOut Day 2020

Prep students take part in BlackOut Day


By Michelle Carpinteyro, Staff Reporter

They don’t hear our cries. They don’t hear our pleas. But maybe they’ll understand when it comes to money. 

On July 7, there was a halt. A pause. A silence like no other. People nationwide who support the Black Lives Matter movement didn’t spend a dime unless it was at a black-owned business. It was a day of solidarity, when we showed the country how much economic power Black people and their allies have in America. The official BlackOut Day 2020 page describes the movement as: 

 “an awakening of the national consciousness of black people in America and abroad. We need economic solidarity in America amongst all black people unequivocally. In order to break free from the chains of financial servility, we will organize days, weeks, months, and years if necessary when not one black person in America will spend a dollar outside of our community.

In Passaic, city Youth Council member Gabriela Farfan showed passion in bringing attention to BlackOut Day. She, along with peers, passed out fliers to local businesses to spread awareness and to educate them about what is happening in our country. 

“Anyone can make a change no matter how small,” said Farfan. “We usually wait until we’re ready to do something about it. But we need to start to realize that everything we need to succeed is from within. You don’t need a large fan base, extensive knowledge, and a position of power. But what you do need is passion, discipline, and an open mind.”

Amari Gawthney, a rising junior at Passaic Preparatory Academy, said, “I fully support it because people of color heavily impact the economy. … To have a day where we spend nothing at all comes to show how much we impact the system. If they don’t start to make a change on what is being done to people of color, then more and more protest, and forms of protest, will be done until they make a change.”

“The same energy you put into scrolling through social media could be put into something that actually affects your life and those around you,” said Farfan. “It’s not hard.”

BlackOut Day 2020 was declared a success by The Black Coalition, in partnership with OneUnited Bank. July 7 was only the beginning. This is not only a hashtag, nor a moment. It is a movement.