The 2008 not guilty verdict in the Sean Bell case evoked outrage, emotion, and debate. It is not an anomaly that the police officers involved in the Sean Bell slaying were acquitted of all charges on all counts in State Supreme Court. I could run out of ink printing the names of people who have been victimized by the inaptly named justice system.

The American justice system has been especially terroristic towards the African American community. Many community members can cite historic and personal accounts to prove this. Therefore, it would be foolhardy (at the least) to turn to a system that has methodically oppressed us, and request that they free us. We can only free ourselves through extreme discipline and intelligent planning.

As a community we have been too compliant with leaders who organize ineffective, delayed reactions. The only strategy that can save us in this last hour is one that calls for a collective code of conduct that will be conducive to improving the conditions of our community, and shifting the paradigm of how we are treated by outside entities. The first step of this code of conduct should be based on economics.

The old adage of “money talks,” still reigns true in the new millennium. Any political scientist worth his or her library card will tell you that: “Economic powerlessness equals political powerlessness,” and conversely “economic power equals political power.” This means that if we continue to allow our wealth to be extracted from our community, we will remain impotent.

The power of the collective “Black Dollar” is often discussed. However, that power has been left unchanneled. Today is the day to change that. A one-time boycott is not going to bring long-term change and respect to our community. Our community has launched boycotts before. Our success and ascension will be based on what we consistently do. For this reason, we should initiate “BUY BLACK FRIDAYS.”

BUY BLACK FRIDAYS is a small step towards our community acquiring power via controlling our economics. Every Friday, people who acknowledge the injustice and oppression that the African American community has been consistently subjected to should do one of the following:

Option #1: Spend $0 on Friday
Option #2: Spend no more than $10 on Friday
Option #3: Only Shop at Black Businesses on Friday
[PLEASE NOTE THAT THE ABOVE OPTIONS CAN & SHOULD BE EXERCISED ON A DAILY BASIS. However, we can all at the very least focus on Fridays. This way we can take a collective stand and build our collective discipline. Please remember that this is only Phase 1!].

To the people who are tempted to label “BUY BLACK FRIDAYS” as racist, I say this: In the big scheme of things, this is about right & wrong, justice & injustice. The African American community is a strong, proud community that has endured the brunt of America’s iron fist. We must stop the pounding. I feel that any fair-minded individual will concur, and join in.

ANY business that is privileged to enjoy the support of the African American community MUST return that support.

I thank you in advance for your effort and dedication.

-Elsie Law AKA Starface

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The Precursor To The “East Coast / West Coast Beef”

Black Panther Party LogoThe following book excerpt outlines tactics that were used to destroy the unity between Black activist groups in the 1960s and 1970s. These divide and conquer tactics seem very similar to tactics that were likely implemented in the 1990s among hip hop artists.

By: C. Gerald Fraser
The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, which emerged from the rural South eight years ago to become a pace-setter in the national Civil Rights movement, is in serious decline.

It has lost much of its power and influence to the in the morning slum-born Black Panthers as the rights movement has grown into the “black liberation struggle.” And it has also lost to the Panthers its leading apostle, Stokely Carmichael. These losses, and this transition, have not come about without anxiety and pain.


Members of the Black Panthers walked into James Forman’s office at the committee on Fifth Avenue in late July, according to Federal authorities. One of them produced a pistol and put it into Mr. Forman’s mouth. He squeezed the trigger three times.
The gun went click, click, click. It was unloaded.

From The New York Times, Monday, October 7, 1968.

When I read that vicious lie, stating that a gun had been placed down my throat, I immediately called Eldridge Cleaver in San Francisco. Kathleen Cleaver, whom I know very well and who had once worked for SNCC, answered the phone. After we exchanged warm greetings, she handed the telephone to Eldridge. It was early in California, about nine o’clock in the morning, and near noon in New York. I asked him to get a copy of the newspaper and read the story.

It was obvious, I told Cleaver that the federal government had decided to escalate the conflict between SNCC and the Panthers, if federal authorities were saying that a gun had been placed down my throat. Cleaver, Bobby Seale, David Hilliard, and many other Panthers knew that this was a lie and I knew it. That there had been serious differences between the Panthers and myself, and between the panthers and SNCC, some nearly involving gunplay, was a fact. But the Times story was a lie. I told Cleaver that I believed the article was written to create a fratricidal situation between our two organizations. I felt that some public denial was necessary, in order to eliminate the confusion that it would cause. Notwithstanding any differences between SNCC and the panthers, it was necessary- in the face of that article- to articulate a position that we would not be led into organizational fratricide by incorrect and vicious statements in The New York Times, I said. He agreed that we should keep “it” on that level.” -From, “The Making Of Black Revolutionaries” By: James Forman

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