There has been a lot of talk about not shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday in order to make the white powers that be feel our displeasure over the deaths of Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Tasha McKenna, and Laquan McDonald. And this sounds good.
But truthfully, as a middle class person this has no effect on me one way or the other. I can afford to spend shop early or late and spend an extra $40 or $100 on something that somebody wanted for Christmas. My nose will be bent out of shape because I'm a cheapskate born into a family of cheapskates but that's the only sacrifice I'll be making is my nose out of joint for having spent money I didn't want to spend.
Black people who are poor, black people who live in poorer sections of black neighborhoods, the ones who are at a higher risk for being shot by white police (in my unconfirmed opinion) are the ones who go stand in line at 4 AM on Black Friday to get their child a toy or game they couldn't otherwise afford. Other cheapskates like my brother go too. But the poorest among us are the ones mostly punished by a mostly symbolic gesture of skipping the biggest sales of the year -- and asked to do it two years in a row too.
Frankly, I can't help that notice that this has been hyped and suggested by those, like Farrakhan*, who never ever gave two d*mn lambs about Christmas, consumerized or religious, in the first place.
Besides, taking back black dollars has to be done in a real way by spending black all year. Symbolic gestures have their place, but maybe we can find some gestures that don't penalize the already penalized.
More than that, we need to demand that the black successful do more than give back to the black community through their own black success. Yeah, hiring black people in black neighborhoods is good. But when you as a black person get rich, I think your donating 5 million out of your 350 million dollars looks like a lot but it's a pittance.
Oprah, for example, built a school in Africa some years back. That's fine. That's acceptable to white people because that set of "those people" seem desperately poor and deserving while inner city blacks have the lazy label. That's acceptable to black people because anything that mentions "Africa" or sound African is good. But I want her to adopt a school or two here and make it popular for other black stars to do so, followed by white stars here in the U.S.
If adopting black babies can catch on in the United States, then why not black schools in inner-city neighborhoods?
We, as black people, talk about "unity" too much get down to brass tacks too seldom. All of us are NOT in the same situation. And the expectations of different sets of black people need to be different. Yes, we the black consumers need to spend black dollars on black businesses to build them up. But the ones that are already built? We need to demand some reciprocation or move onto another black business.
I, like anybody else, enjoy seeing black people get rich and display that wealth up to a point. It's good for black children to see black people at all financial levels of society. But seeing ostentatious black wealth when our people have so little makes me throw up in the back of my mouth a little. I hope some of you start to feel the same way. The black rich can spend less, get 3 cars instead of 15 and adopt a black neighborhood or a black school
Use this list freely. Shop black. And as the year goes on, I hope you send Patrice Grell Yursik more black businesses to add to her list. But when 2016 begins make an effort to keep your eyes open. Make sure that those who are black give black in a way commensurate to their success
It's 2015, we need fewer black heroes that heroes only because they made it and more black people creating a cycle of black money through black society. We need more from the black successful than evidence of their own success. I have no desire to see a black Donald Trump come to exist. In fact, I'd like to never see that happen.
Be the change you want to see in the world. And also command the change you want to see in the world by being choosy about who you support.
There are voids in this list. I’d love to see more black-owned tech and toy companies represented. Shoe designers. Tech purveyors. If you’re the creator of a black owned business and would like to be included, I encourage you to leave your site and a brief description of your services in the comment section [of the link below.]
I hope this list is helpful to you and that these businesses can thrive thanks to your support. And like I said last year right around this time, “Although this week may make you question so many things, never question that we have much to be thankful for. Be thankful for life. For health. For family. For friends. For community. For the future, when we can make the change that we want to see in the world.”
The list of 350 black businesses
http://www.afrobella.com/2015/11/28/350-independent-black-owned-businesses-to-support/*-When I see Farrakhan squash a Muslim religious holiday that black Muslim children are at the center of for the cause, maybe I'll be interested in what he has to say. Until then...