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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Quote Of The Day

“We never need to look outside ourselves for the ultimate answers. Our own instincts about what is best for us are always better than somebody else’s. Because our own instincts are always more in touch with our deepest needs. Always…The best decisions you ever make in your life happen when you go with your gut feelings.” Patti LaBelle

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Assata Shakur On Natural Hair

Assata “One day a friend asked me why I didn’t wear my hair in an Afro, natural. The thought had honestly never occurred to me. In those days, there weren’t too many Afros on the set. But the more I thought about it, the better it sounded. I had always hated frying my hair- burnt ears, a smoking straightening, and the stink of your own hair burning. How many nights had I sentiment trying to sleep on curlers, bound with scarves that cut into my head like a tourniquet. Afraid to go to the beach, afraid to walk in the rain, afraid to make passionate love on hot summer nights if I had to get up and go to work in the morning. Afraid my hair would ‘go back.’ Back to where? Back to the bevel or Africa. The permit was even worse: Trying to sit calmly while lye was eating its way into my brain. Clumps of hair falling out. The hair on your head feeling like someone else’s.

And then I became aware of a whole new generation of Black women hiding under wigs. Ashamed of their hair- if they had any left. It was sad and disgusting. At the time, my hair was conked, but the hairdresser said it was ‘relaxed.’ To make it natural, I literally had to cut the conk off. I cut it myself and then stood under the shower for hours melting the conk out. At last, my hair was free. On the subway the next day, people stared at me, but my friends at school were supportive and encouraging. People are right when they say it’s not what you have on your head but what you have in it. You can be a revolutionary-thinking person and had have your hair fried up. And you can have an Afro and be a traitor to Black people. But for me, how you dress and how you look have always reflected what you have to say about yourself. When you wear your hair a certain way or when you wear a certain type of clothes, you are making a statement about yourself. When you go through all your life processing and abusing your hair so it will look like the hair of another race of people, then you are making a statement and the statement is clear. I don’t care if it’s the curly conk, latex locks, or whatever, you’re making a statement.

It was a matter of simple statement for me. This is who I am and this is how I like to look. This is what I think it beautiful. You can spend a lifetime discovering African-style hairdresses, there are so many of them, and so many creative, natural styles yet to be invented. For me, it was important not just because of how good it made me feel but because of the world in which I lived. In a country that is trying to completely negate the image of Black people, that constantly tells us we are nothing, our culture is nothing, I felt and still feel that we have got to constantly make positive statements about ourselves. Our desire to be free has got to manifest itself in everything we are and do. We have accepted too much of a negative lifestyle and a negative culture and have to consciously act to rid ourselves of that negative influence. Maybe in another time, when everybody is equal and free, it with only matter how anybody wears their hair and dresses or looks. Then there won’t be any oppressors to mimic or avoid mimicking. But right now I think it’s important for us to look and feel like strong, proud Black men and women who are looking toward Africa for guidance.”

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Assata Shakur On Nat Turner

Nat Turner“It had never occurred to me that hundreds of Black people had got together to fight for their freedom. The day I found out about Nat Turner I was affected so strongly it was physical. I was so souped up on adrenaline I could barely contain myself. I tore through every book my mother had. Nowhere could I find the name Nat Turner.

I had ground up believing the slaves hadn’t fought back. I remember feeling ashamed when they talked about slavery in school. The teachers made it seem that Black people had nothing to do with the official ’emancipation’ from slavery. White people had freed us.

You couldn’t catch me without a book in my hand after that.” -Assata Shakur

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