To Boycott Or Not To Boycott? Some Black Leaders Say It Could Hurt African Americans In Florida

July 30, 2013  |  

Would a boycott of Florida cripple the state or financially harm blacks living and working there?  There has been a growing buzz for African Americans to boycott the state of Florida in response not only to George Zimmerman being found not guilty of the murder of Trayvon Martin but also as an effort to get the “Stand Your Ground” law repealed. Chaka Khan says she’s boycotting the state. The National Association of Black Journalists will continue with their conference in Orlando as planned or risk losing $1 million.

But some black leaders are urging people not to boycott. With the black population of Florida being at 16.6 percent, African Americans would most likely be impacted negatively by a boycott, especially those in the entertainment industry.

With celebrities vowing not to perform in the state, it could have a tremendous impact on the guest and line-up participation in festivals that have already been scheduled, reports TheGrio.

The annual  Jazz in the Gardens festival  in the city of Miami Gardens during the month of March hosts some of the most top-name celebrities. According to Circle of One Marketing CEO Suzan McDowell, who has been involved in the creation of the annual Jazz in the Gardens festival since its inception in 2006, the threat of boycotting an event like Jazz in the Gardens does more harm than good for the Miami Gardens community.

“Trayvon Martin is from the city of Miami Gardens and the city of Miami Gardens produces and owns Jazz in the Gardens, which is the same city that Trayvon was born and raised in,” McDowell told TheGrio, “To me it would seem a little ridiculous for people to punish the city that Trayvon was born in in order to support Trayvon.”

Miami Gardens has a large African-American population, reaching more than 70 percent of the residents. In fact, it is the largest black city in the state of Florida.

“Trayvon is a part of our city. This isn’t just a concert… this is us. This is something we do to bring people into our city. We want to show people our homes; to show people Trayvon’s home; the city where he lived. I think it would be tragic if a boycott ensues from this extraordinary bad verdict, “Miami Gardens mayor Oliver Gilbert III said to TheGrio.

Rather than boycott, perhaps support #TakeOverFlorida?

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