community conversations

‘Blackout Day' Asks Customers to Send Message With Their Wallets

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The chairs are upside down on the tables at Smokey John's Bar-B-Que & Home Cooking, but that doesn't mean there aren't any customers.

"I think 'Blackout Tuesday' is great," Smokey John's Co-owner Juan Reaves said. "This is our opportunity to put our best foot forward to people that may not be familiar with us, Black or White."

'National Blackout Day' is meant to highlight Black-owned businesses, and get people to send a message of support by spending their money to support Black business owners.

"Money moves the world, right?" Reaves asked. "So when people spend the money to help support these businesses, that means you're helping sustain a business."

With his brother, Brent, Reaves is a second-generation owner of the business started by his father.

"Particularly during this time when we're all suffering from the challenges of the coronavirus and COVID-19, this is a perfect time to really pump up and boost up some of these minority businesses who have some viable options and are great businesses who just need the support and recognition," Reaves said. "I've honestly learned about businesses that I didn't know about."

"I love all the attention that Black-owned businesses are getting," Jennifer Allen said. Allen owns Just Elope, a wedding planning business. "It does my heart good to be a part of so many love stories."

Allen said when people support Black-owned businesses, there is a ripple effect.

"You're not only helping out of family, but you truly are contributing to the legacy of their family name changing," Allen said. "Because you're giving them the opportunity to build a name for themselves and provide a legacy and generational wealth for their children."

Both Allen and Reaves hope Blackout Day isn't just a day, but a habit for customers.

"Now they can be part of the rotation," Reaves said. "No one's gonna eat bar-b-que every day we understand, that is probably not recommended!"

Our news partners at the Dallas Morning News compiled a list of some Black-owned businesses in North Texas. You can find it here.

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