Is it just me or is all of black America starting to realize the power of the black dollar? Well, maybe not ALL of us, but a whole helluva lot of us are realizing that while our lives may not matter to the powers that be, our dollars DO. BIG TIME.
I used to think that things like boycotts didn’t matter. When you’re constantly reminded that people of color are the “minority”, you start to feel like “whatever” when it comes to our “movements”. Add that to the fact that my family hasn’t observed a Western holiday in over 5 years and you can see why I was so nonchalant about it all.
Last year when Mike Brown’s murder led to the first national black friday boycott, those feelings started to change a bit. So what if we don’t celebrate Christmas, and admittedly, I’ve NEVER stood in those god-forsaken, midnight lines to purchase half priced electronics, I still noticed the impact of an organized collective of people of color.
STILL, with all the statistics coming out about how potent our spending power is to the American economy, with all the “Boycott Black Friday” hype and #NotOneDime hashtags, I have a serious issue with a black friday boycott and here’s why
For the last three weeks, me, Hubz and a group of committed local black business owners have been working day and night (literally) to create OPTIONS for our people.
We’ve been painting, sanding, building and creating an actual retail space to house the works of local and national black artisans. We believe in the collective economic power of black and brown people and we’re putting in the work to prove that together we can make the changes and impacts needed to sustain ourselves.
Why not become an entity within an entity?
We can make a major statement as a people by keeping our dollars in our pockets on Black Friday but lt’s be honest. 99% of the “boycotters” WILL be right back in those stores, paying full price, soon after the hype has died down.
How can we make an even bigger and more lasting statement to America? By supporting local and small black businesses. (BOBs as they’re affectionately called in the black community)
Did y’all see the #PattiesPie situation play out this past weekend? THAT was a picture of what we can really do when we invest in ourselves. When we spend with ourselves, unapologetically… but guess what, the big box store that most of us went to to buy those pies got a major cut too.
What if we bought ten pies from the local black bakery? I’m sure they’re twice as good and made with love.
In my honest opinion, boycotting black friday is an awful idea if we’re going to also boycott black businesses.
Redistributing black friday is an awesome idea though.
Reimagining the idea of the holidays is an even better idea. Making group economics a part of our everyday lifestyle is the BEST idea because it not only keeps our dollars circulating in our own communities, it creates the power, liberty, and justice that we’ve been asking for all along.
How will you be spending your money this holiday season? Or will you be celebrating the holidays at all? Let us know in the comments!