Special to the AmNews

Did the “Black” come out of Black Friday this year? Numbers released this week say so.

According to ShopperTrak, a provider of consumer behavior insights and location-based analytics, the recent four-day shopping weekend, which includes Black Friday, saw a 10.4 percent decrease compared with last year, equaling to more than $1 billion in losses.

While analysts are blaming fewer available store hours on Thanksgiving Day, a later Hanukkah pushing sales into December and more people shopping online, none are publicly considering the resistance of Black shoppers, who refused to spend money.

In an aggressive campaign that was launched during the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March Justice or Else rally in Washington, D.C. On 10.10.15, Black people were asked not to shop on Black Friday and throughout the holiday season in response to the relentless attack on Black people by police, systemic gentrification and elimination of affordable housing, miseducation and abuse of Black children in city schools and chronic unemployment.

Activist Omowale Clay from the Brooklyn-based December 12th Movement told the Amsterdam News, “We tried to saturate our community with 8,000 palm cards saying ‘This Christmas we will not shop.’ Every day there is a new revelation on the atrocities committed on our people by the New York City Police Department to justify the necessity of this boycott, which will be going on through New Years. We must not continue to fund our own oppression.”

On reports that spending was $1 billion down from last year’s Black Friday, Clay said, “There seems to be a trend of people no longer getting into this practice of going out on Thursday night and running around crazy. This loss of a billion dollars is a testament to the effectiveness of this important campaign.”

“No justice for us, no profits for them!” demonstrators shouted last Friday morning on the northeast corner of Harlem’s African Square (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, 125th St., and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard, Seventh Avenue).

Numerous activists convened in more than 200 cities across 42 states, primarily in busy shopping districts, and urged potential patrons to suppress their consumerism and not get caught up in the mindless spending frenzy that usually follows Thanksgiving each year. They also advised passersby to be self-sufficient and support Black businesses and Black street vendors instead.

“Keep your money and spend it with your own people,” exhorted activist Sister Melody Diouf, as she and her comrades demonstrated. “They [businesses] don’t care about you … why are you spending your money with them?”

“The lesson to be learned from the Montgomery Bus Boycott is that we brought them to their knees and showed how important our contributions are,” added African scholar-warrior, Dr. Leonard Jeffries. “It’s important that we control our own communities and put our economic power to use.”

Activists prepared this economic sanction in response to the rampant police terrorism occurring across the country and are planning to carry it on through the end of the year, and beyond. They walked along 125th Street and attempted to persuade shoppers from excess spending and have targeted specific shopping strips throughout the five boroughs to hit.

“It’s about Black economics being redirected to the Black community,” explained Sister Yaa-Asantewaa of the Buy Black campaign. “It’s time for us to stop financing our own oppression and finance our own liberation! We’re out here discouraging people to show our economic power This is a chance for us to show our Black economic movement, doing for ourselves and determine our own destiny. In order for us to get justice, we have to pool our resources together and say enough is enough!”

Some reports showed a local drop in Friday’s shopping by as much as 10 percent.

The Brooklyn-based Harriett Tubman-Fannie Lou Hamer Collective has been rallying and organizing in the streets, at subway stations, at shopping malls and at numerous community events throughout New York City. “We understand the national call is to use our money as a weapon for justice and self-determination, and impact the retail profit margin this season,” founder Viola Plummer explained. “We must exert our economic power now!”

At a Harriet Tubman-Fannen Lou Hamer Collective demonstration at the Fulton Street Mall in Brooklyn Saturday, community organizer Noel Harris stated, “This is the Grand Rising, queens! The senseless brutality toward us Black and Brown people must stop or else. I can’t believe, in 2015, we are still fighting to breath within this supremacist system.”

Activists in Chicago reportedly blocked entrances at stores on Michigan Avenue. The demonstrations were in response to dashboard camera video of the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. The officer accused of the shooting was charged with murder and made bail this week.

Reports indicate that Black Friday sales on the Magnificent Mile, which has some of Chicago’s largest stores, saw a 25 to 50 percent drop in sales.

Protesters made their way down Michigan Avenue, calling on shoppers not to patronize stores. Some even blocked the doors to keep people from going in. The protest caused some retailers to shut their doors early, including the Apple Store.

The Chicago Police Department said that there were no complaints about the demonstrations and only a small number of people were arrested on misdemeanor charges. The protesters were mostly peaceful and shouted “Justice or Else!” and “Send Rahm to jail!”

Demonstrators called for the resignations of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, who resigned this week, and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

The Chicago Teacher’s Union and the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition were among the supporters and participants during Friday’s demonstration.

Minister Louis Farrakhan said in an online video that it’s time to have a serious economic boycott similar to how Black football players refused to play at the University of Missouri, which could have cost the school millions.

“Holidays are a bonanza for the business community,” he said. “Put your money in your pocket. It seems that spreading that kind of pain where dollars are taken from the pool of white supremacy, then all of a sudden our dollars matter and then they can consider our lives and what matters to make our lives better.

Activists from New York City, Chicago, Ferguson, Mo., Baltimore, Houston and Waller, Texas, New Jersey, Arizona, Florida, California and all points beyond have taken to the streets demanding Justice. On the Brooklyn battlefront, 11-year-old Eliakim Brown energetically participated in the Christmas shopping boycott on Fulton Street with his parents. Eliakim stated, “We are telling the truth. We need to stop giving our money to these stores. The money is not being used in our communities, so where does that money go?”

By the Atlantic Mall on Black Friday, activists such as Jelani Mashariki, Michael Hooper, Marlon Rice and Jamil Debe handed out fiyers to a relatively sparse shopping crowd.

“We understand our impact with our grassroots and social media campaign,” said Mashariki as he handed out flyers that said, “Respect Your Dollar.”

The Harriet Tubman-Fannie Lou Hamer Collective and the December 12th Movement will continue their campaign throughout the holiday shopping season. For more information, call 718-398-1766.

Demonstrations are planned throughout December. Meetings also occurred in prime shopping strips at Fordham Road in the Bronx, Jamaica Center in Queens and Bay Street on Staten Island. For more information, visit, http://nationalblackout.org.

“Using our buying power and the Black economy as a weapon for justice must become strategic for us and not a one-shot deal,” concluded Clay.