Five Radical Ways to Put the Black in Black Friday

Hello Meltingpot Readers,

Artwork by Ernest E. Varner
Artwork by Ernest E. Varner
I’m sure many of you are getting ready for the holiday season, checking those turkey recipes, getting your cornucopia table decorations ready, yes, all the fun stuff that makes Turkey Day so very yummy and fun. But have you noticed that every year Thanksgiving seems less important while Black Friday gains in popularity. It’s like the only reason we’re feasting is to power up to shop on Black Friday. While I’m sure the spirits of Thanksgiving past are rattling their chains over this unfortunate turn of events, I’ve decided to embrace the fact that all of America is excited about anything with the word black in it. And on that note, I’ve come up with five radical ways to really put the Black into Black Friday. Try one or try them all, but just remember to do Black responsibly.

1. Buy Black. If you’re going to get up at the crack of dawn and spend all of your hard-earned money on consumer goods you may or may not need, why not buy stuff from Black-owned businesses? Then your Black Friday is like Black squared. And that’s cool. And luckily, other people had this idea way before I did and have already put together a list of Black-owned businesses to patronize on this special day.

2. Buy a book by a Black author. The #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement is all about the publishing industry’s lack of support of authors of color. Well, while you wait for mainstream publishers to get it together and start publishing a slew of books by Black authors, just go buy a bunch that already exist. And trust, there are a lot of books by Black authors on the shelves of your average Barnes and Noble. Books for kids, adults and teens. Yes, Virginia, there are books written by Black people out there and you should buy some on Black Friday. You should read them too.

3. Put a #BlackLivesMatter sign in your front yard. Think of this as your decoration for Black Friday, like a Black Friday Christmas Tree, but without the messy needles to clean up later. Alternately, get a #BlackLivesMatter tattoo on your arm.

4. Capitalize the B all day long whenever you write something about Black people. If you are a journalist, you will really piss off the copy editors at your job, but that’s what makes this so revolutionary. It’s Black Friday, yo! You can also zip on over to and sign my petition that’s still up asking The New York Times and The Associated Press to change their policy on keeping Black people in the lower case. Just recently Colorlines walked away from using AP style and decided to start capitalizing the B so there’s proof that these little radical acts can make a difference.

5. Binge watch as many Spike Lee movies as you can, then go outside and yell, “Wake up” as loud as you can. On Saturday morning see if you feel any different. Act as if everyday is Black Friday.

Happy Black Friday, people!

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