Why the hell is the Friday after Thanksgiving called Black Friday? Yall know I get really sensitive about things (wypipo) call Black because it usually has a negative connotation:
You get the point!
I mean, I know after we all watched the movie Malcolm X…
…we ran to our own dictionary to see if this was true.
I mean, I must’ve done this activity with every class I’ve ever taught.
Because words matter and the words we use and how we use them and how they affect us lies deep in our psyche.
So for me, I’ve always wondered, why Black Friday?
There are a lot of stories about this. The initial one I heard was that this was the day that retailers finally made it into the Black, with regards to profits. You know, red is for being negative and Black was positive with regards to accounting. (Wypipo using Black as something positive, how refreshing.)
But this feels like a ploy and makes me wonder, if you gotta go essentially 11 months to make your first profit, something is wrong, right?
The second story I ever heard about Black Friday was that it represented the day slave owners would have a sale on enslaved people to celebrate the holiday.
Sidebar: You know Lincoln made up Thanksgiving during the Civil War as a way to support the troops because they were getting their ass beat. And we not even going to talk about Christmas and how it was outlawed in many places and also found life around the Civil War. Propaganda y’all!
Where was I?
Oh, right, the selling of enslaved people on the day after Thanksgiving. Well if Lincoln created it in 1863, but it didn’t catch on until 1864 and the emancipation proclamation was made in 1862-63, even if we use Juneteenth as the official official end of slavery in 1865, listen it’s just unlikely that this was the inception of Black Friday, plus wouldn’t they have just called it Nigga Friday during that time?
I’m just saying.
This is a great story to make people mad and disgusted, but it ain’t true.
Another story is that two White men in 1869 crashed the financial market by buying up a bunch of gold in order to manipulate the prices so that they would make all the profit. Their manipulation backfired and the market dropped and bankrupted everyone. Of course that happened on a Friday, hence Black Friday. Back to Wypipo making Black negative again.
That story has been debunked also.
But, I have finally found the real reason why the Friday after Thanksgiving was called Black Friday, thanks to the History Channel. And it should be called Drunk and Disorderly White People Friday.
Long story short, the day after Thanksgiving would be a big Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia. White folks would pour out of the suburbs and head to the city to be-drunk-and-disordely-as they celebrated the game. This meant that the police had to work on that Friday, ALWAYS. They could never take it off. And they had a long, hard day at work…because have you ever been around any drunk-and-disorderly-White folks?
Someone cue to St. Patrick’s Day:
Anyway, cops in Philly started to call this day, Black Friday. Look at White Supremacy work. We ain’t have nothing to do with this White on White crime and disorderly behavior.
Reframing the Narrative
We all know since the Black Power movement in the 60s, Black folk have began to reframe the narrative around the word Black.
Black is beautiful.
The Blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice.
Black Girl Magic
Black Boy Joy
We have fallen in love with Blackness (it’s a work in progress yall, because, yeah, White Supremacy)
And for the last few years, aided by the internet and the way everyone has free and equal access to the interwebs (the repeal of net neutrality is gonna f us up) we’ve been able to appropriate the term Black Friday and make it about supporting Black Business ala #BuyBlack(on)Friday.
Now, last year this time, I was asking us to boycott Black Friday for injustice and I have spent a few years purposefully not buying anything on Black Friday but now I’m evolving. I am only spending my money with Black owned businesses on Black Friday.
In actuality, I’m moving into 2018 with Black subscription services in order to buy my detergent, toilet tissue, tooth brushes, tooth paste and paper towels exclusively from Black owned businesses and producers. Thank you, We buy Black.
I already receive my soap and body butters from Black Owned Business Herb-n-Eden. I actually just got my delivery, yesterday.
It is estimated that the spending power of Black people in America is set to surpass 1.3 TRILLION dollars this year. Trillion, my people.
However, we only make up 7% of small business owners and by 2053 it is estimated that the median Black Wealth will be equal to 0. Reports show that the highest employer of Black men and the second highest employer of Black women is the government.
And Houston, that means we got a problem, because wherever Republicans are in power, they cut government jobs. Now government jobs have been the primary entryway of Black people into the middle class; when they take that away, we are not left with much.
That 7% of small business owners being Black means we in real danger, unless we begin to support Black entrepreneurs and we have to move past restaurants, beauty salons, and barber shops if we really want to be the ones that help our people move and stay in the middle class.
Initially, I wanted to write a blog about the horrors of unfettered capitalism. But, though I know we need to reframe our relationship with capitalism, I decided against it. Cash rules everything around me, CREAM is foundational in our liberation. And not in the, I’ll do anything to get money, steal, murder, cheat, but more like, financial freedom will allow for the liberation of my people, strengthen communities, build institutions (schools), leave a legacy.
Then I was going to write about how we should collectively no longer celebrate fake American/European holidays because they are steeped in oppression and we need to decolonize our joy. But, then I was like, ain’t nobody tryna hear that because these holidays really are about the coming together and being thankful and being grateful and being joyous. (But we gonna replace them though).
So, I finally was left with the message of empowerment.
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for and we have the money and know how to liberate ourselves and each other. We just need the determination to do so.
So as you get ready to spend all that paper, we here at CREAD encourage you to #BuyBlack(on)Friday, and on #SmallBlackBusinessSaturday, and don’t forget #BlackCyberMonday.
And we, at Decolonizing Education Publishing will be launching the pre sale of our inaugural book, The ABC’s of the Black Panther Party this #BuyBlack(on)Friday at 9am. We will be celebrating our book and business launch on Tuesday, December 19th in East Harlem USA and we’d love for you to come on out and join us.
We’re not just selling a book, or celebrating our incorporation. The 19th of December is the formal launch of our liberation movement. In the last three years, Chemay, my business partner and I, have bet on ourselves. We both left academia to start our own education businesses; she began MyReflectionMatters for parents of the Diaspora and I started CREAD for teachers of the Diaspora. Together we’ve began Decolonizing Education for all people of the Diaspora.
Together, we have 3 small business that employ other diasporic people and seeks to grow exponentially in 2018. We’ll be dropping the link late Thursday night after you’ve stuffed yourself and if you want to get the jump on supporting us, make sure you subscribe to our newsletter.
The dollar is power.
Community is power.
Love is power in action.
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.
For real though y’all, this weekend and every weekend and week day moving forward, as you are dropping dimes, be intentional about supporting Black businesses and when I say Black, I mean Diasporic. We don’t need charity just your business.