Tag: Black Friday

Why #BlackOutBlackFriday Is Truly Necessary

America is a country where practically anything is possible with the right money behind you.

Black Americans’ spending power in this country is presently valued at approximately $1.1 trillion dollars annually. Yes trillion, with a “T”, per year.

In the wake of the grand jury’s decision not to indict Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown, Jr., frustration, anger and grief abound. The failing of the system struck a different nerve this time. Another Black life, instantly devalued by the system of so-called justice in this country.

People are now struggling with the questions of “What can be done?” “How can we make them hear us?” Many are expressing their discontentment with rallies and marches, raising their fists and voices to the sky in an effort to be heard. What long-term plan could we enact to actually make a palpable change? Thoughts have turned to boycotts, the historic action of those that feel oppressed by a system greater than they. With Black Friday coming up, it seems as easy a target as any.

This is why there’s a movement for #BlackOutBlackFriday. Green is still the MOST important color in this country, and on Black Friday there needs to be less of it floating around. Websites like BlackOutFriday.org, and hashtags like #NotOneDime (created by Rahiel Tesfamariam of Urban Cusp) are asking people to boycott big retailers. People are committing to keeping their cash, and if they do go shopping, they only shop with Black-owned businesses or small businesses. By hitting big retailers on one of the busiest and most profitable days of their fiscal year, we can send the message that we are not happy.

We’re asking that Black Friday be the START of a boycott on buying NON-ESSENTIAL items from big retailers, for as long as it takes, until certain demands and changes in legislation regarding Police activity are met. Food, toiletries necessary for everyday grooming and hygiene, and fuel are exempt. Everything else? If you MUST buy it, buy it from a local business, small business, or Black business. This way, not only are we showing corporations that our dollars matter, we are infusing businesses that actually need the money with capital.

What do we want? Police reform. But we recognize that’s a big ask and will take time. But we can accept a good faith measure. Body cameras on police officers is the perfect measure. It defends those officers who are living up to their oath to protect and serve and shines a bright light on those who do not, allowing for just and appropriate action.

The tactical goal of the boycott is to get support and backing from the companies in our communities as we push for this important reform.

The strategic goal is to remind us as a community what our power is. We are not helpless within this system, held at the whim of a political and social structure that devalues us. We have value. We even have value that they recognize and need, aka our spending power. Let’s direct that power to those entities that build up our communities, not those that stand silently as we’re taken down.

The Ferguson decision is the impetus, but not the solitary reason, for the call to boycott Black Friday shopping this year. The onslaught of Black men, women and children losing their lives to overzealous, mostly white officers who are not being held accountable has many people fed up with the state of affairs.

There are the dissenters who are asking “WHAT FOR?” and stating, “Boycotts don’t work!” or “One day won’t do a damn thing! I’m getting my Beats Headphones, bruh, FOH.” Then there are those willing to consider it, but asking, “How does this work?” “What does this do for us?” Well, let’s talk about why #BlackOutBlackFriday matters and why it’s worth doing.

  1. Dollars pay for retailers’ political interests

Lobbyists influence legislation on behalf of others, and many groups use them to get policies they want enacted. They compel congressmen to vote in whatever way they want, and this is not a secret nor is it illegal. On the contrary, it is a general practice in American (and other countries) government.

Lobbyists have the access and insider influence to steer conversations toward certain agendas, spin the media, and create a following for certain causes This is why they can be used to our advantage during a boycott. If we present legislative demands that require fulfillment in order to bring our business back to certain retailers, corporations will pay lobbyists to get it done, in order to maintain their business’ profits.

  1. Black Friday is the single most profitable shopping day of the year.

Many retailers go from being in the red (loss) to being in the black (profit) on Black Friday hence the name. If people refuse to spend on this day and beyond, companies will take a huge hit. Many businesses make anywhere from 25-50% of their yearly revenue during the holiday season alone and if big retailers lost that, they would be very interested in finding ways to get it back.

  1. Black people drive the economy

We shop. We buy. We spend money.

Black people set trends in this country, no matter how much columbusing tries to erase that fact. From fashion to music, we are the progenitors of trends, and we support them with our hard earned dollars. This provides retailers with big boosts of income, especially during the holiday season when everyone wants the “hot new thing” and gift giving centers around it.

Now is actually the perfect time to make a tangible impact so let’s take a stand. We possess the spending power to make change possible if we are steadfast, deliberate, and committed.

The question is, are we?

Blackout

*Article originally published on The Grio.

It Doesn’t Take All Day To Eat A Turkey

Another Thanksgiving Day is almost here. There won’t be any turkey at my family’s house this year, instead we’ll be eating out but I know a lot of other families will be preparing large Thanksgiving dinners. That’s all well & good, but I hope that those people don’t lose sight of what’s important during this holiday – the season of giving thanks.

Personally, it’s been a rough year for me but I still have a lot to be thankful for. Don’t worry, I won’t get into that during this post. Maybe another time or even Thanksgiving, 2015. For now, I’d like to focus on other things you could be doing on Thanksgiving Day because let’s face it, it doesn’t take all day to eat a turkey! See below:

Volunteer – If you have food to eat & family to spend the day with, then you’re better off than close to 700,000 homeless people in this country. Before (or after) feeding yourself, find time to go & help feed other people tomorrow. Look for local volunteer opportunities in your area –  

Go shopping – We all know about the great deals that go on during Black Friday. But why wait? Why not start shopping on Thanksgiving? Click here to see which stores will be open on Thanksgiving Day. If you insist on joining the madness on Friday, be sure to coordinate all of your store visits by clicking here. You could even have some fun by setting up an early breakfast or luncheon after you’re done with your midnight shopping runs. Last but not least, if you’re not interested in hitting any stores this season, keep your computer running so that you can shop online. There are great deals online, some greater than what you would find in the actual stores. So stay inside where it’s warm and click away!

Get one last good workout in before eating – We all know that Thanksgiving comes & goes and leaves us with extra pounds that we didn’t ask for. Instead of waiting for the new year to begin working out why not start today? Here are some quick workouts that you can do from the comfort of your own home before you sit down for dinner on Thursday:

  • Jumping Jacks
  • Push-ups
  • Crunches
  • Squatting
  • Running in place
  • Lunges
  • Planking

Collect recipes now for leftovers – Nobody likes getting stuck with a bunch of leftovers. But since that’s what always happens on Thanksgiving, you might as well learn some new ways to handle all that extra turkey. Karen Temple from The Aiken Standard wrote some tips on how to handle all the leftovers –

The practice of eating leftovers has been around since man first discovered that food gathered or hunted today could be ‘preserved’ and safely eaten tomorrow. But that’s just the thing – you want to make sure the leftovers are safe and not going to make anyone sick!

  • Since you know there are likely to be leftovers from the Thanksgiving meal, safe food handling practices become even more important. Be extremely careful that you don’t cross contaminate, taking particular care to keep items that will be eaten raw away from uncooked poultry or meat while preparing the food
  • After the meal, package and refrigerate leftovers promptly. Do not leave items on the table or kitchen counter for grazing throughout the day! Large amounts of dense foods (mashed potatoes, stuffing, etc) will cool more quickly if packaged in smaller containers for storage
  • Most leftovers can be safely stored in the refrigerator for three to four days if they have been properly handled on the front end. After that, the risk of food poisoning increases
  • If you will not be eating the leftover food within three to four days, freeze it immediately. Bacteria do grow at refrigeration temperatures (just more slowly than at room temp) so don’t store the food in the refrigerator for days before deciding to freeze it
  • Lastly, when in doubt, throw it out  

 

Clink on some of the links below for ‘leftover recipes’ –

 

Happy Turkey Day everyone!!

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