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Organizing to put the ‘Black’ in Black Friday

RON D ANIELS | 12/2/2013, 1:37 a.m.

For example, in New York, under the visionary leadership of Rev. Dennis Dillon, the Emancipation 2013 Freedom Coalition is organizing a two day Black Friday Expo Nov. 29 and Nov. 30 at the 69th Regiment Armory in Manhattan. This kind of expo could become a model for Black communities nationwide. The Support Black Business Days and Black expo events exemplify the first principle of the utilization of Black consumer power – Black dollars should be used to support Black businesses and entrepreneurs as a means of building a strong economic infrastructure to employ Black people.

The second principle of the utilization of Black consumer power is that companies/corporations that depend on Black dollars must be compelled to reinvest in Black communities. Black dollars should be used as leverage with businesses and corporations that depend on Black consumer dollars. It is reasonable to expect and demand that businesses and corporations that we patronize reinvest dollars back into the Black community in the form of jobs, advertisement in Black media, sponsorships and contributions to worthy causes. And, we should not accept peanuts or chump change in exchange for the massive dollars we spend, enriching businesses and corporations owned by interests external to the Black community.

Our inner-city neighborhoods are dying for lack of jobs and investment. Therefore, we cannot permit businesses to grow fat off our dollars without demanding reinvestment in our communities. Those who refuse to do so must face the wrath of economic sanctions – and there is no better time to target offending businesses/corporations than the Christmas season when their profitability depends on Black dollars.

As the corporate retail establishment prepares to launch the Christmas season, let us transform it into a season of resistance – Remember Martin: Boycott Florida … Buy Black on Black Friday.

Ron Daniels is president of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century and distinguished lecturer at York College City University of New York. To send a message, arrange media interviews or speaking engagements, he can be reached via email at info@ibw21.org.