How many of us Really know the History of Black Friday?
Nope, I won’t tell. Do the research and you’ll understand why I wrote this essay at this current time. At a time when the Holiday
Season is quickly approaching. A time when the government is issuing checks to stimulate a dying economy. A time when
Black Folk are the last hired and the first fired. And what about those Black Owned Businesses during the time of a Pandemic?
I’m just being for real.
During the Holiday Season more alcohol is sold than at any other time of the year. More money is spent on food, clothing, and
entertainment than any other time of the year. The spending begins on the Friday after “Thanksgiving” and reaches its crescendo
right around Christmas.
For those of us with an extra couple of dollars, that money is as good as gone, all to show our loved ones how much we care.
And for those of us who don’t have, we’ll use credit or even barrow the money and go into debt to please our loved ones and
assure that the Holiday THIS year is better than the one last year.
Sure, there are other ways to spend our money. There are smarter ways and more responsible ways to spend it. But it’s the
Holidays, and ever since the traditions of these Holidays were created, spending has been the Key activity in making the
Holidays into Glory Days, right?
Take Christmas for instance, isn’t that in some way based on Jesus? Wasn’t it the 3 Wise Men who went to Macy’s to buy gifts
for the Baby Jesus? And wasn’t its Jesus, when he was all grown up, who went to the merchants of his day and overturned the
carts in the temple fighting for those hard-to-find Black Friday Deals?
What about those Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock, baring gifts from Kroger, Walmart, and Costco. After a nice dinner of
Honey Baked Ham with the Indians, the Pilgrims handed out blankets imported from Spain. Rumor is, those blankets were to
Did I miss again?
The point I’m trying to make is that even though the Holiday Traditions may be somewhat dubious, we are still going to spend
the money. Even though we may not agree with a particular Holiday, or the history of its conception, we can write our own
script and use it for our purposes.
And this is where Black Friday comes in. When you examine the nature of the tradition of Black Friday, some of our people
would say they don’t want to participate. But I would challenge us all to do the exact opposite, with a twist.
Let’s make THIS Black Friday REALLY BLACK. Not only should we spend every dime of the Stimulus money given to us by
the government, but we should make a commitment to limit that spending to Black Owned Businesses ONLY.
Just think about it, Black People make up 13% of the U.S. Population with a 1.1 Trillion Dollar Pre-Pandemic Spending Power.
This Christmas we will spend money on tobacco (including weed), alcohol, toys and games, the telephone, gambling, clothes,
food, books, and if we have a few dollars left over, Charity. But the real “Charity” would be in spending our Black Dollars on
Black Friday at our Black Businesses in each of the above-mentioned areas of commerce.
Imagine the jobs we would create for ourselves during this single season where the Government will actually facilitate our
spending. Think of the many of Black Owned and Operated Businesses on the verge of collapse due to the Pandemic. We can
actually give real meaning to the phrases “Thanksgiving”, “Black Friday” and “Happy Holidays”. Right now, we can turn this
Pandemic into an opportunity to get acquainted with the best of our own community.
THIS Black Friday, Let’s make Black Friday REALLY BLACK. Make all of your Holiday spending this year an opportunity for