Another year has come and gone. Add to the list of hashtags with names attached: #TamirRice, #FreddyGray, #SandraBland, #EricGarner… (I can’t keep up!) the seven trans women killed this year…

Additionally, let’s note the Pool Party Incident, the South Carolina Cell Phone Incident… and yeah… the #CharlestonShooting.

Have I cheered you up yet?

I’m reposting this post below from LAST year, because sadly, very few of the folks responsible for brutality and violence committed against Black folks have yet to be held accountable.

Even though there is a LOT for me to be personally thankful for… there is still so much work to be done in our country. I’ll be boycotting Black Friday again this year. Please join me!

You don’t have to be Black to care about #BlackLivesMatter!

In remembrance for all the families that have an empty chair this Thanksgiving and to show your support for racial justice, please boycott shopping from Thanksgiving Day through November 30th. Please share this post and this message! I’ve created a Facebook banner and Twitter profile picture for anyone to download and post in your Twitter or FB profiles.

Actions you can take NOW!


November, 28, 2014

How did “getting into the holiday spirit” become all about buying crap on sale? Call me a Grinch, but if you have had kids for any length of time you understand the mountains of stuff that seem to accumulate like giant dust bunnies in every nook and cranny of your home.

This year, I’m so thankful to just BE HERE. I’m so grateful our family is healthy, together, well-fed and in a cozy home.

With all that has been going on with #Ferguson lately, I am reminded that being with family is not to be taken for granted. Mike Brown’s family had to spend their first Thanksgiving without him, and many across the country started a new tradition of leaving an empty chair for all the families who have lost a family member due to police violence.

Watching recent events in Ferguson and throughout the nation,  has made me more interested in #BlackLivesMatter than #BlackFriday.

I am so saddened by recent events in our country I have to say I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. For me, like Many Black Americans, going out and buying stuff, hasn’t been the first thing on my mind. Even with all I have and all I’m grateful for, being being black in America right now is frankly depressing. It’s not that this is the first year that Christmas has been commercialized. It’s just that this year, with all that is happening, the urge to to go back to “business as usual” seems way off base.

I’m not the only one to notice the disconnect between black and white America. Protesters across the nation have been protesting at malls across America to express their discontent.

So what am I doing with all this grief?

How can I connect the feelings of gratitude I feel with my feelings of sadness about what is going on in our nation? Well, aside from doing what I can to support the #BlackLivesMatter and #JusticeForMikeBrown movement… this year, we are thinking about what we are grateful for.

I am a big believer in focusing on the positive to bring about positive change. As far as #Ferguson is concerned, I signed the online petition to put pressure our President Obama and US Attorney General Holder to take action to hold Mike Brown’s killer accountable. I will also be educating myself about the growing movement to end police violence and getting involved in local events in to support the #JusticeforMikeBrown movement via fergusonaction.com and blacklivesmatter.com. (Thanks Neva Walker of Coleman Advocates for passing this info along.)

In addition, our family is taking more time to talk about ways we can share abundance with others, either through donations to charity, or giving our time to spend with those in need and those we love. That includes just plain spending time together: playing bored games, doing crafts, talking, sharing our appreciation of each other, cooking… snuggling. :)

Does any of this make sense to you? How is your family getting into the true spirit of the season?

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About alimcollins

Ali Collins is an educator, community organizer and mom. She lives with her husband and twin girls in San Francisco, CA.

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Race & Racism, Social Emotional, Social Justice Parenting

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