I was inspired to start my Black Every Friday posts just after the last holiday season. Dubbed super consumers, Black people spend a ridiculous amount of money every year yet only a minuscule percentage of that is spent on Black-owned brands or stores. [This is partly why we’re still in the situation we’re in.] Sadly, I’m pretty certain that I used to be one of those super consumers. But I recognized the problem and have taken some huge leaps in my spending habits to become a much more conscious shopper, always asking myself:
- Can I get this product or service in my neighborhood?
- Does the company that I am about to do business with or spend time with hire people that look like me?
- Do I see positive images of myself in the content or the advertising of these companies?
- Does the company actually support causes that are important to my community?
- If any of those first four questions had a no, are you still going to spend your time or your money with that company? [via newsone]
Over time, Black Every Friday has evolved into much more, but my initial goal was to shop smarter, save money, support + shed light on smaller companies that get overlooked by those widely popular, big box stores. [You know, the ones with all the air time and ad takeover in the sales papers that open at 4am or don’t even close for Thanksgiving..] We only make the rich richer by continuously purchasing from these million and billion dollar companies. [It’s very telling when a store doesn’t even close for a major holiday, even if it is built off some Amerikkkan bullshit fantasy story.] Regardless of if their employees celebrate it or not, this would otherwise be an extra, well-deserved day or hours off instead of taking on the stress of crazy, desperate sheep that think they’re getting a deal. Time that’d be better spent relaxing with the family or binge watching some shows + movies on your Netflix list.
But buying Black and shopping small equates to supporting your neighbor, a distant cousin, a friend of a friend- people working hard everyday to hone their gifts and live their dreams. The go-getters who hope to change the world for the better, even if it’s just a little. Folks just like you. Not a lazy, greedy, heartless puppet master who sleeps on a bed made of money in his third mansion on a private island.
If you’re all the way down for the cause and are completely boycotting Black Friday and Christmas/Christmas shopping, right on! This is how you do it! Instead of freezing your face off camping out like a loser for that 96″ flat screen, hit em where it hurts! [Which, if you don’t know, is their pockets.]
But if you do have a few names on your nice list, I’ve created a short directory of awesome, Black-owned places to shop online for gifts without having to give into the unnecessary hype that is Black Friday:
Honey Bee Goods [+candles]
Asim Supreme Products [Support this brother!]
for long-term partnerships: I Got You
for the poetry lovers: Word
for the fiction fiend: The Town Dance
for the doodler: Color My Fro
not really small or unknown, but anything by Amos N. Wilson
and a few more..just so there’s no excuses.
Clearly my gift-giving motto for the holiday season is shop small or don’t shop at all! These brands and stores may or may not have Black Friday or Small Business Saturday deals, but I’d still give them a gander throughout the year [because all their stuff is amazing]. Even though there are plenty of things I want, I will be spending $0.00 on Black Friday. And I have everything I need so, instead, I plan on just giving thanks to that.