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Rev. Jesse Jackson and his Operation PUSH organization, now known as the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition have staged several boycotts against major businesses based on their lack of investment in the African-American community. One such boycott took place August 10, 1981 against Coca-Cola, which led the beverage giant to donate over $34 million to Black-owned businesses and hire more Black workers.

In July of that year, Jackson and Push launched the “National Withdrawal of Enthusiasm” campaign against Coca-Cola based on the lack of diversity in its corporate and distribution divisions. Jackson noted that the company had no Black wholesalers, no black bottlers, and no Black people on its board of directors.

In a month’s time, Coca-Cola agreed to funnel millions into Black businesses and their surrounding communities. The company also agreed to a $1.8 million fund aimed at providing loans to Black investors, established the creation of 32 Black-owned distribution centers, increased advertising in Black media outlets, and worked with minority-owned banks by borrowing up to $2 million from those establishments.

Little Known Black History Fact: Operation Push Boycotts was originally published on blackamericaweb.com

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