Updated: Apr 4
What is a boycott?
A boycott is the withdrawal from commercial or social relations with (a country, organization, or person) as a punishment or protest.
The overall purpose of boycotts is to inflict economic loss on the target, or to indicate a moral outrage, to try to compel the target to alter the way they operate.
Why are boycotts important?
Boycotts have been used to create significant changes to society. Boycotts like the 1955 Montgomery Alabama Bus Boycott led to the United States Supreme Court ruling that segregation on public buses was unconstitutional. This boycott was a civil rights protest. Black people refused to ride city buses to challenge segregated seating.
When have Black people used the selective buying method during a boycott?
During the 1890's, a black journalist, Ida B. Wells started a boycott of White businesses with the help of others, in Memphis Tennessee. This was in response to the mass lynching’s of Blacks taking place in that city.
In 1962 the Selective Buying Campaign was used again when a student at Miles College, Frank Dukes, helped organize one in Birmingham, Alabama. By boycotting downtown businesses that discriminated against Black People, Blacks in the community used their buying power as political leverage in the struggle for equality.
History has documented many examples when selective buying impacted society, two are listed below.
Who can participate in a Boycott?
Boycotts are most effective when there are mass numbers of people doing it all at the same time. However, it starts with individuals who make a personal commitment to selective buying.
Boycotts may not always hurt the revenues of a company, but they can do a great deal of damage to the company’s reputation. Always remember to share your newfound knowledge with others.
Luckily today, Social Media allows us to get the message out faster and wider.
How does one participate in a Boycott properly?
First research the companies you patronize. If you are ever made aware that their behavior or values no longer align with yours, stop supporting them with your money.
Use resources like the Buy From a Black Woman's Online Directory to find other businesses to support.
Don't do this because it’s a trend, do it because you're using your economical power as a driving force to improve society.
Spend your money on businesses that empower your community.