#GlamazonChat: Are You Participating in #BoycottBlackFriday?

Glamazons,

We’re still reeling from the grand jury decision’s not to indict Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot and killed 18 year-old Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

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In the wake of that harrowing moment in history, people are taking action into their own hands. The most popular suggestion to affect change? A Black Friday Boycott.

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The boycott calls for people to refrain from making any purchases on Black Friday to hit America where it hurts the most: her pockets. Not only will it be a demonstration of black solidarity, but it can prove our economic power to a system that routinely devalues us.

But will boycotting Black Friday accomplish anything?

It might. Mike Brown’s death and similar cases of police killing unarmed African-Americans have left many feeling like this country doesn’t value black lives. If people can’t see that #BlackLivesMatter, why not show them by taking back our dollars and impacting them financially? African-Americans have a collective buying power of $1.1 trillion so if we (along with our supporters) agree to withhold our funds Friday, there’s no doubt the nation’s corporate entities will feel it.

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Boycotts have a history of affecting change. The Montgomery Bus Boycott crippled the Montgomery transit system economically, and eventually forced the courts to rule against segregated public transportation.

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If #BoycottBlackFriday has a similar impact, perhaps real efforts would be made toward protecting black lives including mandatory police cameras or actually sending officers to trial.

But is one day enough?

To have a lasting impact, a boycott would probably have to last much longer than a single day. As Twitter user @djreemmoves pointed out: 

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Even after America saw a significant decrease in employment and spending during the recession, from December 2007 to July 2009, the nation was able to rise and stay out of that extreme debt the better half of a decade. To really make an impact, wouldn’t it be better to kickoff a boycott on Black Friday and continue until America gets the message?

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That timing seemed to work during the civil rights era. The Montgomery Bus Boycott lasted from December 1, 1955 to December 20, 1956 when national pressure forced the courts to outlaw desegregation.

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Timing aside, there are several ways this boycott could be more effective. Strategic planning is one. Instead of boycotting every corporation, we can target specific businesses. When George Zimmerman raised over $200,000 for his legal defense fund, a list of corporations that supported him circulated on the internet. Where is that list now?

Instead of refusing to support any businesses, we can boycott businesses that have shown they don’t value black lives, and put money towards those who have actively shown they care. And while we’re supporting businesses that care about black people, how about starting with black-owned businesses?

Imagine if African-Americans put that $1.1 trillion buying power back into the community.

Twitter user @AfricanaCarr shared that his students proposed a brilliant concept:

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As a longer term plan, #BlackonBlackFridays can affect change while also strengthening the black community financially.

You May Also Like: #BlackOnBlackFriday: 40+ Black-Owned Businesses To Support

I’m eager to hear your thoughts, Glamazons. Are you participating in #BoycottBlackFriday? Share your perspective in the comments.

Talk soon,

Glamazon Esta Fiesta

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