In the wake of the historical events of last week's police shooting in Louisiana, Minnesota and Dallas, TX I found myself full of mixed emotions. Mostly in thought, as I usually am, I began to ponder about my purpose in how I could assist in forwarding the progress towards seeking justice.
I just arrived back in town from celebrating the July 4th Holiday and running my 4th race in the 4th state towards my #RunAcrossAmerica goal when on Wednesday evening things got real serious for all of us living in Minnesota, the U.S. and the world. A lot of people took to the streets by rallying, marching and protesting.
Uniquely, here in Minnesota last week was more than a heartbreak than anywhere else for this is how the week went for us: On Tuesday (July 5th) Alton Sterling was shot and killed in Louisiana, on Wednesday (July 6th) Philando Castile was shot and killed in St. Paul, on Thursday (July 7th) the 5 officers were shot and killed in Dallas and on Friday (July 8th) a 2 year old boy died and his 15 month old sister was shot during a car shooting in Minneapolis. This brought me to my knees in prayer. I wanted to leave the house and get involved, but I am a single mother of two children, FT job, running a small business, Author/Poet, taking summer classes and taking care of my younger sister. I am the only adult in my household that manages everything. I felt the yearning to help in anyway that I could but was also pulled away because of my mounting responsibilities. 'How can I help' was consistent request as I prayed?
Late, Sunday evening I received a message about a financial boycott of what was actually Target, Walmart and Cocoa-Cola and since I could not understand the relation in regards to the recent police shooting events I decided to tweak the boycott just a lil bit. I decided to boycott all businesses that are not owned and operated by people of Color. For one week I wanted to see just how difficult or easy this would be.
Here we are! Day one and I am still well and alive :) I had some obstacles and some interesting conversations that lead to a new awareness.
My first task was to keep a lunch date with my co-workers. I didn't want to share with them the truth as to why I was canceling our lunch, but I felt, if they are my friends then they will understand and support me. I researched to restaurants ownership that were going to, to enjoy some sushi and found it was not on the approved list. I expressed to my co-workers that I would be interested in changing the venue or the date and I also truthfully told them why. In the end they supported me, we still had lunch just at a location that was owned by a Chinese woman.
My second task, for dinner I planned to cook lasagna but I needed the final ingredients which I was going to purchase from a major grocery store. Since that was not on the approved list I had to make a quick decision on how to feed the kids before I went to my evening class. They temporarily settled for noodles and PBJ. Then after class I placed an order and pick up dinner at Milton's in Crystal, MN which has only been around for 3 years, but has excellent food and service. I encourage you to stop by. Milton's could be your next client if your business knows how to make to-go menus and update websites. https://youtu.be/VbDhcWQemOI
Reflections of today lead me to generate a list of all businesses that we could be and should be owning and operating in our communities and across the US. For example, Gas, grocery stores fast food, clinic etc. I have met countless of men and women of color with a degree in business management, but they do not own a business or the business that they have incorporated is in retail. We need those too, but we also need to challenge ourselves to own other businesses like a gas station and grocery stores. Businesses that are more practical to our everyday essentials of life and now is the time!
I told a good friend of mine that if during this week I really need something I'm going to trade her for whatever I have in my home at a surplus for whatever it is that I need from her. For example, If I have extra bars of soap, but I need a head of lettuce then we can make a trade. The idea is to avoid going to the store.
I have also found, which I will share later, that there is an intelligent couple from the Chicago area that has already started the research and built a business around consistently patroning black owned business for a lifetime. What started out as a one year challenge evolved into a lifetime of opportunities for themselves and their community. Stayed tuned for more information on that lovely couple.
Lastly, before I sat down to eat dinner (prepared my the loving hands at Milton's) with my children we prayed a thankful prayer. Thanking God for being a provider and thanking God for the food, His bread of life, that we shall not be hungry any longer for what He has for us we will not thirst. God will provide. I believe that and I trust that because He already has.
I would like to hear your thoughts on any boycotting experience you may have had. How was your experience? leave a comment, send me an email, post to my Twitter @QueenAuthorPoet ot leave a comment on my FaceBook page - QueenAuthorPoet I would love to read your thoughts.
Queen is a Author/Poet that through her written works inspires, encourages and provokes discussions