By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
November 25, 2011
As the Americanization of all aspects of life in Trinidad and Tobago continues unabated 24-7-365, it is a sine qua non that Trinbagonians be educated/informed in regard to the concept of “Black Friday” via this Afri-centric analysis.
According to long-standing acceptable societal norms , “in the United States, Black Friday refers to the biggest shopping day of the year, which is always the Friday after Thanksgiving” (25 November 2011).
In this regard, one would have thought that with the anomalous election of America’s first African-American/Black President and the UN-designation of 2011 as the “International Year for People of African Descent” that the need to colour any national event would have been already relegated to the ash heap of history.
The fact of the matter is that African-American/Black consumers who shop till they drop on the Friday after Thanksgiving Day only account for 12 per cent of the national population; so, how is that day “Black Friday”?
Moreover, the vast majority of employees in America’s stores/malls on that day are not Black; so, why is this day called “Black Friday”?
In addition, the overwhelming majority of America’s stores/mall owners are not African-American/Black; so, how is this day “Black Friday”?
Indeed, these stores/mall owners reap in massive profits on that day and the colour of the money they accumulate is still green; so how does this day of profit maximization suddenly become “Black Friday”? These business owners do not collect Black money, as in dollars.
For all intents and purposes, therefore, this day should be re-named Green Friday.
And even the stuff, as in snow, on America’s Interstate highways, streets, roads, bridges, etc., on that day is not Black; so, why is this day called “Black Friday”?
Indeed, the crucial questions that immediately comes to the fore are: Is there a White Friday celebrated?; Is there a Yellow Friday celebrated?; Is there a Brown Friday celebrated?; and most importantly, why then is this putative stigma only assigned to the colour Black?
In addition, another troubling situation in which the colour Black is assigned involves the Flight Data Recorder in a plane. Now, when the plane takes off, the original colours of this instrument are orange and yellow. However, not wishing, when the plane crashes, then, this original orange and yellow coloured instrument is suddenly called the “Black Box”. What’s wrong with this picture?
Now is the time in the era of racial inclusiveness for the international community to totally reject the concept of “Black Friday”?
This writer strongly asserts that the concept of “Black Friday” conjures up a modicum of disrespect either by accident or design, especially when a Black man is the President of the United States of America.
On the flip side, why isn’t this day celebrated as “White Friday” when a White man is the President?
Now is the time for the members of the international community, including all Trinbagonians, to regard this day for what it actually is, namely, the Friday after Thanksgiving Day—that’s all it is; nothing more, nothing less. It is a totally colour blind day, period.
Now is the time for one humanity to co-exist. Racial/colour divisiveness is self-destructive and should be avoided/rejected at all cost, ad infinitum.
In the spirit of global harmony, all human beings need to embrace each other as one.
Truth Be Told: The international community, including Trinbagonians, should heed the poignant but apocalyptic admonition of slain African-American Civil Rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as follows:
“Now the judgement of God is upon us and we must either learn to live together as brothers or we are all going to perish together as fools.”
In the final analysis, the election of Barack Obama as America’s first Black President is the overt signal to reject the concept/notion of “Black Friday”.
Shem Hotep (“I go in Peace”).
Dr. Kwame Nantambu is a part-time lecturer at Cipriani College of Labour and Co-operative Studies.