The directors of Fruitvale Station and Selma join the call for the nation to #BlackOutBlackFriday
Since the St Louis County grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for fatally shooting Michael Brown, protests have spread across the US and even beyond its shores, reaching London last night. But now demonstrators are looking to hit America where it hurts: its retail wallet.
The Blackout campaign, organised by Blackout for Human Rights, is calling on all Americans to boycott Black Friday this week to express their outrage at the Ferguson verdict. Selma director and Miu Miu Women's Room filmmaker Ava DuVernay has joined forces with Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler and a host of other celebrities in the boycott, which encourages people to reflect on past events and use the day for community and contemplation, rather than consumerism.
DuVernay sees the parallels happening between Ferguson and her film, Selma, which follows Martin Luther King Jr on his historic march for black voting rights. “Ferguson is a mirror of the past,” DuVernay, whosetold TheWrap. “And Selma is a mirror of now. We are in a sad, distorted continuum. It's time to really look in that mirror.”
Coogler will be performing a reading of Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing in New York and DuVernay is screening a series of African-American films in LA, including her film Middle Of Nowhere for which she won a Sundance award. Fruitvale Station, Coogler's film about the death of a young black man at the hands of a police officer, will be screened in LA.
Various hashtags various have hit Twitter to raise awareness about the proposed boycott, including #HandsUpDontSpend, #NotOneDime and #BlackOutBlackFriday. Campaigners hope that by engaging authorities with non-violent protest, the boycott will force the whole of America to engage in discussion about where the country is failing.
Are you American? Will you be boycotting the shops on Black Friday?