Durham Citgo owner shocked by response of Blackout Tuesday

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Black-owned businesses across the country are feeling the support after "Blackout Tuesday," including the owner at the Citgo on North Roxboro Street in Durham who said Tuesday was the busiest day he has had in more than five years.

Dr. Jim Okeke moved to America from Nigeria in 1990 and has owned this Citgo since 1999. Last night he texted his daughter asking her what was going on because he was shocked at how much business he had.

When she told him about "Blackout Tuesday," a national call to use the day to support Black-owned businesses he was shocked and said it took him back to when he first started the business before there was competition all around.

"Yesterday was phenomenal because we've been facing a lot of competition," he said. "Yesterday was very, very impressive. I had tons of people coming in here, both White and Black and Mexicans, everybody. I was like what is going on here today. I was really impressed. It took me back to when I first started this business when we were doing like $13,000 a day here, back in the days, because the competition came in."

Okeke is grateful for the effect of the effort.

"It's quite appreciated. I'm appreciative of it," Okeke said. "Honestly, what is going signifies that Black folks are not being looked at as entrepreneurs ... I was so impressed to see Black, White, everybody was calling for a change, and that change honestly impacted me yesterday by the way people ran to my store and were buying things. It made me say 'what is going on.'"

Okeke hopes that Tuesday motivates people to want to move forward as one country regardless of color or creed.

"We should look at everyone as creations of God," he said. "God created all of us, gave all of us the same equality of everything. We should treat each other as equal, regardless of color or creed. What they did yesterday was very inspirational and it's helping a 'lot of people remember to think this is one country and they can only move forward in oneness."
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