Thanksgiving is a time of the year when we focus on love and family. And it presents an opportunity to consider at family gatherings the Black community’s agenda. In our sociopolitical circles, we reference these ideas and calls-to-action as the Black collective thought. There’s infinite power in this knowledge and perspective sharing, particularly from the Black family. On this year’s menu of discussion will undoubtedly be Black Lives Matter.
What is being served by the Black family isn’t the idea that just turkey alone will be enough or will the vegetables be enough, but it is (or should be) conversations that take place among families that can continue to build the value of Black lives.
Our conversations at Thanksgiving should reflect our family values. We should share special moments in history, photographs, videos, family goals, family prayers, family ideas and ideology, and the family’s economic and political goals.
Thanksgiving can’t just be about a football game. Thanksgiving should be about writing mom a note telling her how much we honor her and more. The value of Thanksgiving must be a celebration of a progressive future for Blacks, economically and politically.
Collectively, we must set our goals to achieve things that we are thankful for: set economic, social and family benchmarks. Thanksgiving comes before we go on our holiday spending sprees that should be concerned, conscious and focused. We know there are retailers that will not do business with us. We understand gifts will be given and received among family members. What is most important is that our dollars are respected. We must spend our dollars with corporations that respect us, support our Black institutions, Black colleges, Black artists, Black newspapers, Black magazines or our Black-owned businesses, media, etc.
Set goals on who to do business with within your community. In addition, educate family members on the companies who value and embrace diversity. For example, Macy’s has a recruitment program for HBCU graduates. Macy’s advertises with Black-owned businesses from rolling out to Black Enterprise magazine to other Black-owned newspapers across the country. They are an example of best-case practices and best in class practice, a model retailer. Others are questionable; we need to evaluate whether they really spend within our community, recruit at our Black colleges. We must really be honest; these are the real, intellectual discussions about how to recycle dollars in our community with Black vendors or companies that respect the Black community. Insurance companies and banking institutions need to be taken into consideration.
For some families, this may be a new topic of conversation: Is Hillary Clinton the best Democratic candidate to get the nomination? Or is it Bernie Sanders? We at least need to weigh in on the topic and set measurable goals on what we expect from the 2016 presidential election.
Let us be thankful this season for being able to celebrate with family. Start and end with prayer. Be honest about how we can advance collectively and have peace in our community.