Article courtesy of the IPPN
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Unity Party Holds First Annual Black Friday Celebration

by Ted Glick


On November 26th, "Black Friday," the Black-led, multi-racial Unity Party in New York held the First Annual (and first ever) Black Friday Celebration at the Brooklyn YMCA in downtown Brooklyn.

Ron Daniels, a leading activist in the Unity Party, explained the reasons for this event in this way: "Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is traditionally the single most lucrative sales day of the entire year. Giant retailers fine-tune their sales campaigns to capitalize on the consumerism that is so blatantly manifested during the holiday season. This year, however, people of African ancestry will be given an alternative. In downtown Brooklyn vendors of all kinds of merchandise will be displaying their wares. The idea is for Black people to be noticeably absent from White business establishments to protest the exploitation of the Black community and as a positive act of support for self-help investment and development in the Black community."

This first-ever event was a modest success. The large room rented at the YMCA was full of vendors of African descent with a cross-section of items to sell. Scores of interested and supportive community people came by for some or a fair amount of the five hours that the "people's bazaar" was taking place. There was poetry, drumming, food, drink and speakers who emphasized that this was not just about buying things for the holiday season but as an act of resistance against the dominant corporate establishment.

A number of people have expressed interest in joining the Unity Party as a result of the event. We ended up "in the black" from a fund-raising standpoint. Large numbers of people heard about us through radio and press coverage beforehand. And we learned lessons that will serve us well when we organize a larger and stronger 2nd Annual Black Friday event next year.


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