Time does not stand still. It seems as though it was just last week that we celebrated the last Thanksgiving Day Holiday. This holiday tradition started with early colonists and Native Americans. It has become a serious and long-standing American practice. It is wonderful to have a period in which to express gratitude.
There are some people who are thankful and grateful for their lives, no matter the circumstances, while others need that extra push because of painful experiences that they may have had. Certainly, some of these people, who have experienced great losses have a hard time coming up with things for which they can be grateful. They need to just understand that one more day above ground is something for which they can be thankful. While we are alive we have an opportunity to learn and grow; because of this, opportunities for positive change are available. We should always count our blessings.
Now, with that said, something must be pointed out about the state of Black America. We are in a new era. Things have been difficult since the very beginning of our sojourn in these initially hostile lands. But as with most things, it is possible to make lemonade out of lemons. Currently, all types of oppression continue to dog Black people. We can see escalated racial tensions that are evident since the Donald Trump presidential administration has taken the helm of the country. But this gives us an opportunity, since strength comes through opposition. We could be staring one such opportunity squarely in the face!
The Friday after Thanksgiving Day has been dubbed Black Friday. It is said to be the biggest shopping day of the year, and merchants of all stripes make huge profits. Lately, this shopping day has become so notorious that people are said to leave Thanksgiving dinners early to head straight to the stores. Black Friday, therefore, is an economic bonanza for people in business. Because of this, one of the best ways for members of the Black community to demonstrate their economic clout would be to Buy Black on Black Friday! It is said that African Americans spend 1.1 trillion dollars each year. That is a lot of money. It is, in fact, enough to influence a significant turn of the economic tide in America. Imagine what would happen if this money were spent strategically.
Individually, Black people don’t seem to have a lot of money, but collectively, it’s quite a different story. This Thanksgiving can be made to be very memorable if African Americans would come together and make Black Friday really Black.
One of the problems that the community faces, however, is that there is a dearth of Black businesses. For some reason, the community has not been able to sustain significant businesses. We have lost banks, restaurants, publishing institutions, and more. Why is this so? The answer can partially be seen in a tendency for Black people to not want to deal with each other. We tend to avoid Black businesses. There are always complaints that Black merchants do not respect Black clients. Moreover, there is the old notion that the white man’s ice is thought to be colder. And like a lot of Black people, who value light skin over dark skin or white culture over Black culture, by extension many prefer white businesses over Black businesses.
We are currently at a crossroads. The sociological atmosphere is becoming very toxic. Police are killing Black people with very little consequence; and Black people are killing each other. We currently have an administration that wants to turn back the clock on Black progress. This is the environment we find ourselves in during this Thanksgiving season. As mentioned earlier, it is possible to make lemonade out of lemons; we should, therefore, be thankful for the impetus for change that will come from the broader community. We might be forced to rely on our own devices, the opposite of what happened with the end of segregation, wherein Black people jumped at the opportunity to mingle with whites, thus causing the demise of Black commerce. Let’s be proactive this Thanksgiving season; let’s make Black Friday Black: buy Black, support community businesses. We need each other! A Luta Continua.