What is Blackout Tuesday?

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – ABC4 News has followed the protest movement closely, both here in Utah and around the country. On Tuesday that movement shifted in a large way to social media in the form of Blackout Tuesday. 

In honor of Blackout Tuesday, millions of people around the world have posted an empty black square to their social media pages in solidarity of the Black Lives Matter movement and in support of protesters. Two black musicians, Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang started the online demonstration this weekend, calling it “The Show Must Be Paused.”It was initially intended only for the music industry but it’s evolved significantly past musicians and record labels. 

Utah businesswoman and advocate Karen Rodriguez explained the campaign was, “An effort to fill up their feed with the stories of black people and racial justice.” Rodriguez is the founder and CEO of Code in Color, a group that helps find and prepares young people of color in Utah for tech jobs, and a member of the Utah Black Chamber of Commerce. She said this week has been hard, but the momentum is promising. 

“If you want to be able to stand in solidarity, stand in solidarity in a protest, stand in solidarity on your social, but stand in solidarity where it counts, with your money, ” she said.

Giles Witherspoon-Boyd is also a member of the Black Chamber; he’s the co-owner and CEO of Protocol Enterprises. He called this time of COVID-19 and national unrest, “The hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

Witherspoon-Boyd explained the same racism creating this social climate also makes running a business in Utah more challenging then it comes to financing and visibility. 

“We don’t have the support that other businesses have; I’m not saying that other businesses aren’t affected, that would be dishonest and wrong, but I’m saying for us it’s even tougher. So if you can look out, please do it.”

The Utah Black Chamber has created an easy way for Utahns to help entrepreneurs of color: The Black Pages. It’s a list of businesses and resources run by people of color. 

Witherspoon-Boyd said, “It’s not enough to say I’m not racist, and this goes for everybody. We have to learn to be an anti-racist.”

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