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Celebrities Promote Black Friday Boycott in Order to Support Ferguson

Celebrities Promote Black Friday Boycott in Order to Support Ferguson

A woman holds a sign with images of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, among others, as protesters begin to rally in New York, November 24, 2014, after the grand jury reached a decision in the death of 18-year-old Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The Missouri grand jury has made a decision on whether to indict white police officer Darren Wilson in the August fatal shooting of the unarmed black teenager Brown in Ferguson, a killing that sparked angry protests in the St. Louis suburb, prosecutors said on Monday. Garner died in July after being placed in a banned chokehold by a New York City police officer. | (Photo: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz)

While many people around the country are trying to raise awareness for social injustice, some Hollywood stars are looking to protest with their wallets by boycotting black Friday.

Entertainers such as actor Jesse Williams, singer John Legend, actresses Tika Sumpter and Kat Graham, model Chanel Iman, entertainment mogul Russell Simmons and television host Terrence Jenkins, have decided to skip out on black Friday after news broke that Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson would not be charged for fatally shooting Michael Brown,18, last August.

A number of celebrities showed their support for the movement by using the hashtag #BlackOutBlackFriday on social media, in an attempt to boycott Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that sees many Americans shop in droves to find bargain deals.

Ava DuVernay, director of the upcoming Oprah Winfrey and Brad Pitt produced civil rights film "Selma," spoke about the idea of the Black Friday boycott being created by 2013's "Fruitvale Station" director Ryan Coogler.

"I'm a part of Blackout, which was conceived by filmmaker Ryan Coogler," DuVernay told "Ferguson is a mirror of the past. And S‎elma is a mirror of now. We are in a sad, distorted continuum. It's time to really look in that mirror."

The number of celebrities and everyday people boycotting retailers on black Friday seems to be growing with the likes of actor Michael B. Jordan, journalist Soledad O'Brien, musicians Tom Morello and Tyrese Gibson urging people to join the movement. The Twitter handle, "@UnitedBlackout" seems to be spearheading the movement with the statement, "#Blackout is a network of artists, activists & more standing up for victims whose human rights are violated in USA:#BlackoutBlackFriday."

The Blackout organization released a statement obtained by BET after what they deemed human rights violations against slain minorities at the hands of police officers and private citizens.

"Our lives are joined by the money we spend as consumers. Today, more than ever, the levers of power— civic, corporate, industrial, capital—are tied to one another and to our economy," said the organization in a statement Tuesday. "Major chains like Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Target depend on our shopping to keep them afloat, especially during the holiday season, but the lives of our brothers and sisters are worth more than the dollars we can save on holiday gifts. Let's demonstrate our unity. Take this single day off of shopping to #showyourworth."


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