#BlackXmas challenges our community to think and engage collectively and determine how an economic agenda plays into a Black liberation agenda. It is not a call to replace White capitalism with Black capitalism, but to engage in “cooperative economics” (the Kwanzaa principle of Ujamaa), which is a call to develop models that bring collective benefit. More tangibly, it means investing in Black organizations that benefit our community (#GiveBlack) and spending intentionally with Black-owned businesses that provide vital services, resources, jobs, and other community benefits (#BuyBlack).
#BlackXmas is an exercise that spans just over 7 weeks, from November 24th through January 1st this year (from “Black Friday” through New Year’s Day annually) and is intended to strengthen the economic muscle of the Black community year-round. #BlackXmas, in itself, is not an economic plan for Black liberation. It is meant to spark the development of a larger Black economic agenda, to encourage creative thought and strategic efforts, that are much larger than a seasonal campaign. It is meant to begin the process of a collective radical imagining around what is now 1.3 trillion dollars in Black spending that can be converted into endless possibilities, from re-imagined mutual aid organizations, like the one building in Leimert Park, to Black cooperatives, like Cooperation Jackson (in Mississippi). As Black Lives Matter fights to end state-sanctioned violence against Black people and build a new iteration of the Black liberation movement, a Black economic agenda must be integral.
As our people are lured into spending this holiday season, it is important to remember that every dollar feeds something; our choice is whether to feed the source of our oppression or whether to build Black community. Finite campaigns like #BlackXmas and resources like those listed on the blackxmas.org site make it easy to begin the process of choosing Black community over White capitalism.
As Black Lives Matter moves from its infancy into its institution-building phase, it is imperative that we engage beyond simple resistance to the immediate targeting of Black lives at the hands of police and focus also on the systems that require it, namely White capitalism. This means that while we must continue to stand for our people and respond to each and every killing at the hands of law enforcement, while we must challenge the policing system and reimagine public safety, we must also reimagine economic structures.
Rejecting economic structures that profit from our oppression and building our own institutions that offer collective benefit is a requirement for Black liberation.
We’re creating a #BlackXmas
No Spending with White corporations 11/24/2017 – 01/01/2018
#DIVEST from White corporations.
#INVEST in Black community.
If you must buy, #BUYBLACK
Go to www.backingblackbusiness.com for links to Black-owned businesses and download “Official” Black Wall Street and MyClickUrban to your mobile device for mapped businesses and Black events.
Donald Trump embodies White capitalism. If you are anti-Trump, you should hold back your resources from him and the like.
BUILD NEW TRADITIONS: Donate to Black-led community-based organizations in the name of your loved ones as holiday gifts.
In Los Angeles, please consider donating to:
- African American Cultural Center (Black cultural work and forums) www.africanamericanculturalcenter-la.org
- Black Alliance for Just Immigration (Black immigration justice) www.baji.org
- Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles (working to end state-sanctioned violence) www.crowdrise.com/blmla
- Black Women for Wellness (Black women’s health) www.bwwla.org
- Black Worker Center (good jobs for Black people) www.lablackworkercenter.org
- Crenshaw Subway Coalition (transportation and housing justice in Black communities) www.crenshawsubway.org
- Dignity and Power Now (dignity for incarcerated people, their families, and communities) www.dignityandpowernow.org
- Fernando Pullum Center (free performing arts classes for children) www.pullumcenter.org
- Jenesse Center (domestic violence intervention, housing and services) www.jenesse.org
- Los Angeles Community Action Network – LACAN (homeless organizing) www.cangress.org
- Media Done Responsibly (media education and push for positive media images) www.mediadoneresponsibly.org
- Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (Black political power) www.scopela.org