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This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.”  – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

It’s saddening that many Americans and media outlets have been more focused on the loss of property in Ferguson than on the deaths of Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Akai Gurley, Eric Garner, Vonderrit Myers, John Crawford, and countless other black men who have died at the hands of police officers in recent months.

#NotOneDime was created on November 24, 2014, shortly after the announcement of the Ferguson decision. As protests erupted throughout the streets of America, many Urban Cusp followers urged for boycott measures to be taken on Black Friday. A friend, Stephanie Crumpton, posted on Urban Cusp’s wall saying “not one dime” should be spent. That was the inspiration to the hashtag and meme I created. From that moment on, #NotOneDime channelled our collective rage towards an economic boycott that empowered people to resist America’s obsession with rampant materialism on the day it profits the most from it.

We’re paying the price for state sanctioned violence with our lives and America needs to feel that same pain we feel of daily loss in its pocket. We can no longer be passive about the power we posses as a $1.1 trillion economic force. We must capitalize on that power for our civil and human rights needs.

The fact that there was any decline in sales on Black Friday, but 11 percent at that, is absolutely significant and celebratory. The decline matters despite the fact that the mainstream media is not acknowledging its role. Ironic that so many cable news networks covered the boycott throughout Friday and online news outlets wrote about it last week but are not making the connection in their coverage of a sales decline.

We, however, know that an economic boycott led by young Black Americans in response to the Ferguson decision played a major role. The boycott galvanized through social media started out as an online grassroots effort but caught the attention of countless African American celebrities who backed it by promoting to their millions of followers. Our collective efforts were a tremendous display of solidarity and resistance by a community that is fed with up racial profiling and the systemic devaluation of black life.

Monday marked the 59th anniversary of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks’ bold act of protest becoming the catalyst for the Montgomery Bus Boycott. I don’t believe that is a coincidence, that is a kairos moment challenging us to recognize our collective economic power as a community. This is why I decided to carry the #NotOneDime movement into the weekend and now into Cyber Monday. The next phase of the movement kicks off midnight tonight and will last much longer.

We’re just getting started.

Ways you can support the movement:

1) Change your profile picture on social media to the green meme for all of December.
2) Post the green meme on your social media platforms throughout the month, specifically on Fridays/weekends.
3) Post, tweet using the hashtag #BlackDecember and #NotOneDime throughout December.
4) Get the word out to everyone that you know.

5) Go to UrbanCusp.com/notonedime for resources on black-owned businesses.

Resources of black-owned business you can support:

Follow the Movement

Follow #NotOneDime hashtag movement on Twitter

 

By Rahiel Tesfamariam
Urban Cusp Founder/Publisher

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