As the outcry to “replace Starbucks” regained momentum this week, Starbucks announced on Friday it would allow employees to wear apparel supporting the Black Lives Matter movement after suffering from an intense social media campaign. Reportedly, the coffee maker will make 250,000 shirts of their own.

Earlier this week, the coffee company informed their employees they could not wear any Black Lives Matter paraphernalia even though other causes such as Breast Cancer Awareness or the LGBTQ+ community were accepted.

According to BuzzFeed, some Starbucks partners expressed disappointment that Black Lives Matter attire isn’t permitted at work under the dress code. Those quoted in the article specifically pointed out that many employees wear buttons for LGBTQ rights, which were issued by Starbucks.

“Partners may only wear buttons or pins issued to the partner by Starbucks for special recognition or for advertising a Starbucks-sponsored event or promotion; and one reasonably sized and placed button or pin that identifies a particular labor organization or partner’s support for that organization, except if it interferes with safety or threatens to harm customer relations or otherwise unreasonably interferes with Starbucks public image. Pins must be securely fastened. Partners are not permitted to wear buttons or pins that advocate a political, religious or personal issue.” 

Some baristas said the initial move by Starbucks was “disappointing” and “an act of violence.” Later, Starbucks donated $1 million to organizations that promote racial equity. However, many lampooned Starbucks’ actions as “performative” and “hypocritical.”

FILE – In this May 21, 2020 file photo, patrons to a Starbucks in the Chicago neighborhood of Hyde Park walk past stacked chairs and tables. Starbucks says that the COVID-19 pandemic caused an approximately $3 billion to $3.2 billion decline in its third-quarter consolidated revenue. The coffee chain said Wednesday, June 10, that the virus outbreak also lowered operating income by about $2 billion to $2.2. billion. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...

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