A spiritual advisor to the family of Michael Brown, the teenager killed by police in Ferguson, is urging African-Americans to buy exclusively from businesses owned by black people on America’s busiest shopping day.
Jamal Bryant launched his campaign earlier in the week using the hashtag #handsupdontspend – a reference to a slogan used by Ferguson protesters. It’s been tweeted more than 7,000 times, with other hashtags pushing the campaign including #notonedime, #boycottblackfriday and #blackoutblackfriday.
“It’s my hope that black businesses and the black community will benefit,” he says, citing a study that said African-Americans collectively spend $1 trillion a year. He says that a sustained campaign of economic pressure would serve as a protest against police violence.
“America responds to money more than they do to masses,” Bryant says.
Kicking back against Black Friday – the day after America’s Thanksgiving holiday, when stores routinely offer big discounts – isn’t a new idea. For more than 20 years the anti-capitalist magazine Adbusters has urged people to give the shops a miss on what it calls ‘Buy Nothing Day‘.
Bryant stressed his action isn’t a boycott but rather a call to support businesses owned by black people across the United States.
“We are not asking people not to send their money out of the community, but to spend it at home,” Bryant told BBC Trending.