In addition to demanding police reform and an end to systemic racism, Kezia M. Williams is challenging Black Lives Matter supporters to protest with their purchases by buying black and sharing their receipts from Juneteenth through Independence Day.
Williams, the founder of The Black upStart, teamed up with black techies to launch the #MyBlackReceipt campaign, which encourages shoppers to support black-owned businesses and then post a copy of their receipt or invoice on social media using the hashtag #MyBlackReceipt. The goal of the campaign is to generate $5 million in revenue within the black community from June 19 through July 4.
“The #MyBlackReceipt Movement is the first, digital initiative to challenge black consumers and allies to buy from a Black business and upload their receipt into a platform that publicly displays how individual purchases can make a collective impact,” said Williams in a press release. The act of sharing receipts, she says, shows that supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement are committed to helping the black community create economic independence.
Protest With Your Purchase
#MyBlackReceipt kicks off on Juneteenth, a holiday that recognizes the plight, freedom, and resilience of African Americans. It also starts on the 23rd day of ongoing national protests following the death of George Floyd and other Black men and women at the hands of police. However, according to Williams, protesting is just the first step to creating change. The next step requires people of color and allies to build black economic empowerment. “Black businesses have multiplier effects, just like it did in Black Wall Streets across the country. Black businesses hire Black, create Black products, give to Black causes and pass down assets to Black families,” she says.
She went on to note that black entrepreneurs have historically struggled to gain access to the capital they need to start companies and scale. “Black businesses have been denied loans from big banks and resources from the federal government — most recently from the Paycheck Protection Program,” reads the statement.
To launch the campaign, Williams partnered with other black-owned organizations, including Broccoli City, HBCU Wall Street, Knox St. Studios, and WeBuyBlack. Yelp also signed on as a strategic partner, announcing that black entrepreneurs now have the option to self-identify their company as Black-owned to help people easily find Black businesses to support on its website.
“For far too long, for far too many people, patronizing Black-owned businesses has been a point-in-time response to a crisis, mostly when mainstream, white-owned brands have let us down,” said Talib Graves-Manns, the founder and executive director of Knox St. Studios. “We want to normalize everyday spending with Black-owned businesses for everyone — not just consumers, and not just Black people.”