#BlackoutBlackFriday: A National Call To Boycott Black Friday For Ferguson And Beyond

Protests in Ferguson, Missouri, have spread nationwide in the past few days, and activists are continuing to speak out against injustice as they plan another peaceful protest -- only this time, it's targeted at Black Friday.

The mission, which is identified and spread online through #BlackoutBlackFriday and #NotOneDime, aims to boycott large retailers on the country's biggest shopping day of the year. In doing so, protesters aim to take a stand in the fight for economic freedom and equal human rights.

Blackout For Human Rights, the organization at the helm of the nationwide effort, is composed of a network of artists, activists, filmmakers and lawyers who fight to address inequalities and injustice in America.

"In the wake of #Ferguson, it's become painfully clear that people of color, and Black people in particular, are still unjustly targeted by law enforcement and the criminal justice system," reads a statement on BlackoutBlackFriday.org. The group was created in October by Ryan Coogler, the director of the 2013 award-winning film "Fruitvale Station." The film told the story of Oscar Grant, an Oakland, Calif., teenager who was shot on New Year's Day 2009 by police officers at a train station in Los Angeles and whose death sparked immediate outrage from the community.

"The lack of indictment in the deaths of Michael Brown of Ferguson, MO, John Crawford III of Ohio, and many, many more victims of police deaths are unacceptable in this modern society. To that end, we will cease spending money on American retail corporations until a change is made," the website continues.

The hashtag #BlackoutBlackFriday has populated online as the movement is quickly gaining steam. Among some of the more notable names who have actively spread awareness of the campaign online are business mogul Russell Simmons, actor Jesse Williams and TV personality Niecy Nash.

Many users have also changed their profile pictures on various social media accounts to all-black images as they stand in solidarity with the movement's mission.

"We ask those who stand with Ferguson, victims of police brutality and us to refrain from shopping on Black Friday and participate in a nationwide day of action and activism," it says on the Blackout For Human Rights website. "Our lives are joined by the money we spend as consumers."

#NotOneDime is another hashtag that was founded under a similar mission. It is an online campaign created by Rahiel Tesfamariam, a social activist and the founder of online lifestyle publication Urban Cusp.

Tesfamariam created a meme including #NotOneDime and sent her message to her magazine's large following, gaining traction almost immediately, reports The Daily Dot.

"African-Americans are a mass consumer force," Tesfamariam said. "In a lot of ways we drive the economy and we drive pop culture, but we don't own it or manage it."

This is one way, Tesfamariam says, that black consumers are able to show the influence of their dollar.

According to a 2013 Nielsen study, African-American consumers have a buying power of more than $1 trillion.

In having such a large influence and being a driving force in the U.S. economy, both Tesfamariam and Blackout For Human Rights echo the underlying message of their mission: If America values their dollar, it should value their lives.

"The US economy depends on our shopping, especially during the holiday season. But the lives of our brothers and sisters are worth more than the dollars we can save on holiday gifts," the activist organization says. "Together, we can make a historic stand against police brutality and spark change."

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