Oakland’s been in the news a lot lately, and not for the things I’ve been witnessing every day – local businesses serving local customers, community shin digs, delicious food, bustling creativity, and an all-around friendly vibe. There are many social changes to be made, but Oakland is much more than Occupy.
That is never more true than this Friday, traditionally Black Friday, known to me as a day to stay away from all malls for risk of being mobbed by sale-frenzied shoppers. Getting out to gift your friends and family for the holidays doesn’t have to be insanity – it can actually be transformative. Together with organizations like Oakland Grown, the Plaid Friday movement, and folks like Effie Tesfahun who wanted to make something positive happen and harness the energy of a prime shopping day, this Friday is going to be a blast in Oakland (not at all like the blast of rubber bullets).
The idea, aptly put by Oakland’s Plaid Friday creators Kerri Johnson and Lena Reynosos, is to celebrate the diversity and creativity of independent businesses. It’s the fun and enjoyable alternative to the big box store “Black Friday”, and is designed to promote both local and independently owned businesses during the holidays, bringing back the neighborly nostalgic times when shopping for friends and family was a pleasurable leisurely activity.